From: Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Dec 14 2008 - 04:44:43 PST

Dear all,
In the article we read :
[However, this paper focuses largely on sociology, not so much
anthropology, which says to me that the importance here is on the
dialectic between the agency of people and the larger, broader social
structures that go beyond, say, a particular classroom or school. This
is where I stop being able to follow the argument and need
clarification (if indeed what I wrote earlier is actually a sensible
What great sincerity/humbleness really . mostly/wholeheartedly appreciated ..
I'm sure Peter has much to say in this respect ; he creates opportunity for others to come their way .
On many previous occasions , we came across the idea that what puts constrainsts upon agency/limits and dimensions of scale of freedom of the activity of the subject is the problem of *necessity* . What lessons and sylabuses come from Bush's administration and the benefits and expediencies of the Multinationals cannot and are not separate from the mentalities which have been made or are being made within American classes and schools . Mike told Paul Dillon *Why bothering then* ? The bothering problem relates to what we read in the article as the degree of subordination , concessions , compliance or resistance not just within classes and schools but exactly within the expanse of the nationwide territory . And because Peter and Anna explicitly admit their at least general pursuit of Marxism , they have to admit the scale and method and kind of this spread and scattering within the limits of the dialectics of class antagonistic standpoints and social
 relations .  
Here is the place we have to appreciate what Peter and Anna label as the *non-canoninity* of the school of Marxism , though my humble guess is they'd better have reviewed this category with their extremity of going to *talk as action* or *text as action* . My reasoning is shortly that Leontiev's action goes to activity , activity goes to labor and work enterprise , work goes to life itself and quite assuredly we cannot generalize and expand this as to be able to say *text is life* , *talk is life* . 
In short and quite simplisticly , how social relations affect the psyche of the man can be achieved through two main points : one *sense* , two hiararchization of motives . 
Reality is reflected *ideally* . Ideality deals with meanings etc. One kind of meaning comes to us as the general meaning . All of us know what a piece of *straw* means . 
Another kind of meaning is *personal* , sense , I say . For a person drowning at sea , the piece of straw first occurs to her the same as all know of it ; but then when she is saved , the piece of straw becomes to her *the savior of life* ; this is the sense which is quite specific . The sea , the swimmer , the beach , the leisure time , the entertainment , the loneliness of the sole swimmer , etc. are not talk or text . Terror , horror , death and life , salvation etc. are not either . They are not even facts of life ; they are *moments* of life . Copare this with the general meaning of *welfare society* and *proliferation of goods* which through interactions and ups and downs within social relations might come to some misery/poverty stricken or very far away from being fooled layers , individuals , classes , groups , intelectuals , communities of the society as *senses* indicating *exploitation* , *alianation* , *colonialism* , *plunder* , *war
 and crime* , *invasion* etc.  
Leontiev takes his *activity theory* from *major work/labor activity* . Now we say *breathing activity* , *sighing activity* , *frowning activity* etc.. I think it's not the case with activity proper . There's a lot of detailed explications in this respect (hiararchization of motives) on Leontiev's book . There are many pages in which Leontiev talks about the ultimate humanitarian cause of human activities . He recites and quotes many many lines and paragraphs from many literary sources indicating sense of humanity and balanced personality (minus cause of collapse and miserableness of Makarenko's children) of the human being . He considers *psychology* as a ideological weapon against the evils of the capitalistic society . How can he agree his theory to be used to repair these evils . Yes , one thing is certain . He hopes (or you prefer to say dreams/hallucinates/deludes/ socialistic *senses* might come into existence through confrontations of classes
 , these then acting not in speech as speech acts but *exploding* --formerly discussed here--as jumping boards and real social standpoints against decay and corruption and profiteering . Now workers and employees are being expelled/dismissed from their work locales in multitudes and great masses . Their children might feel in misery . This misery leads to confrontation , to at least revision of their due general social meanings ? Do they have proper senses ? Do they have their vanguards ? These are the bitter truths which are greatly related to sociology just when it goes to influence psychology of men but people wayward it unfortunately . Now the motive is not the motive of schooling . Schooling had many decades to go agent . Now the motive , want or not , is the motive of upheavals and where it leads to , enduring or transient . And last but not least :      

[The development of emotions, as noted by A.N. Leontiev (1972),
L.I. Bozhovich (1968), and others is closely related to the development
of motives of behavior that emerge with a childĒs new needs
and interests. Throughout childhood not only a deep restructuring
of organic needs takes place, but also an acquisition of material and
spiritual values created by society, which, under certain conditions,
become the content of a childĒs internal motives.
In a study conducted under conditions of a psychological-pedagogical
experiment, Ia.Z. Neverovich (1955a, 1955b, 1955c) analyzed
the process of forming the simplest social motives for
activity in preschool age children, consisting of their tendency
to make something useful not only for themselves but also for
others, their peers or the adults around them. This formative process
was conducted in a specially organized collective labor activity
of duty monitors (a child assigned supervisional
duty-activities in the dining room, in the nature corner, in the
play corner, etc.). This psychological-pedagogical experiment
continued for about eight months. Initially, the instructor explained
the meaning of their work to the children and its importance
to the kindergartenĒs collective, aiming to instill in them
an orientational basis for forthcoming actions and to create a 
preliminary notion of social significance of these actions.
Later, the instructor systematically evaluated the duty monitorsĒ
work, discussing results with the children. In the course of
joint activity, a collective opinion on the importance and necessity
of the duty monitorsĒ work was formed, and, thus, the fulfillment
of working responsibilities by one child or another came to be
evaluated not only by the instructor but also by other children.
This created a rather rigid system of group requirements and expectations.
The actions of a child corresponding to these requirements
systematically received positive social reinforcement, while
the actions not corresponding to them received a negative reaction.
Nevertheless, the changes in childrenĒs mentality that occurred
under given circumstances should not be interpreted as a simple
adaptation to the actual social situation by mechanical memorization
of encouraged forms of behavior.
The essence of the experiment lies in reorienting the child to
new values. A kind of devaluation of the previously most valued
games and entertainment took place, and correspondingly, the value
of the previously least attractive serious and difficult tasks increased.
Due to systematic participation in an important common
activity, the children discovered its true sense, its usefulness for
others around them, and the importance their own role played in
this activity. In this way, psychological prerequisites were created
for childrenĒs acquisition of social standards and requirements,
the fulfillment of which was necessary for the successful realization
of the joint labor activity.
The transformation of such requirements into requirements set
for the self, that is, into the internal motives of childrenĒs behavior
was accomplished gradually, over several successive stages. Initially,
some children completely refused to be on duty, attempting
to shift their responsibilities to someone else. Other children, even
if they accepted the task, did not always carry it out well: they did
not bring the task to completion, were distracted and began to play
instead of working, and so forth.
Later, under created conditions of collective activity, childrenĒs
behavior became more orderly; the tasks of a duty monitor were 
carried out in a more organized way, but this happened only in the
presence of external support, under the direct influence of adult
guidance and the evaluations of adults and other members of the
childrenĒs collective. Some children remained in this stage for a
long time. For them, the social essence of the activity was still not
the most important matter. Praise was of primary importance to
them, first from the instructor, and then from their peers. Only
when they could count on such praise did these duty monitors work
in a more or less organized and productive fashion. As soon as
those close by stopped paying attention to them, the children ceased
to work and switched to other activities.
Subsequently, however, these children, some earlier, others later,
passed to the next, higher stage of forming social motives of behavior.
It was characteristic of this stage that the child began to fulfill
work duties not to obtain adult praise and not to reach high social
status in the childrenĒs collective, but rather to achieve a socially
significant result by trying to satisfy the specific needs of people
around them. At this point, the child acted on his own initiative without
waiting for any instructions or encouragement, which indicated
that the adopted social standards and requirements were transformed
into the internal motives of the childrenĒs activity.
In the course of forming new behavioral motives, the nature
of the childĒs emotional manifestations underwent substantial
changes. Changes in the emotional sphere directly reflected,
above all, changes in the motives of childrenĒs labor activity.
With the formation of such motives, an indifferent attitude toward
labor duties was transformed into a very high emotional
sensitivity to evaluation of their work by others. Later, concerns
associated with evaluation seemed to fade into the background
and were replaced by completely different feelings related to how
well the child managed to do useful work and how closely the
results achieved corresponded to the interests of others, which
now became the childĒs own.
Our data show, however, that emotion not only expresses one
or another particular aspect in the motivation of child behavior;
it also plays a significant role in the realization of these motives.]
Then Zaporozhets goes through documenting these with experimental examples , that is , step-by-step promotion of motives and corresponding activities of the children .

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Received on Sun Dec 14 04:46:19 2008

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