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Re: [xmca] Dialects of Development- Sameroff
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- Subject: Re: [xmca] Dialects of Development- Sameroff
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 09:04:26 -0800
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Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this article.
Some stream of thought reflections after reading the article.
As a Meadian "SIGNIFICANT symbol" the image of the double helix I believe is an excellent psychological tool to support a dialogue and help us coordinate and negotiate the TENSIONS inherent in our notions of development. Mead's notion is that a symbol represents a monological relation whereas a SIGNIFICANT symbol is ontologically dialogical and MEDIATES meaning BETWEEN self/other (other includes "you" and "institutional other") see Alex Gillespie's book "Becoming Other" for elaboration.
I would also suggest the double helix is a "social representation". As Moscovici explains social representation's they are:
"systems of values, ideas, and practices with a two-fold function: first, to establish an order which will enable individuals to orientate themselves in their material and social world and to master it; secondly, to enable communication to take place among members of a community (1973, p.xiii)
Moscovici's notion of OBJECTIFICATION, as the process that conceptualizes the solidification of abstract knowledge into TANGIBLES is also significant in reflecting on Sameroff's article. Objectification is our tendency to turn verbs into nouns. (Moscovici, 1984, p.42) That is our tendency to turn the DYNAMIC PROCESS into tangible and often VISUAL IMAGES at the core of social knowledge (epistemology). Sameroff's 3 visual images of the double helix, the Ying/Yang symbol, and the figure 5 image [that captures the transactional relations between self-regulation and other regulation through time] are all significant social representations (combining Mead's term "significant"and Moscivici's term "social representation) I believe all three visual images can each open dialogue for further threads on chat and how the mind works.
I'm curious about when and how a significant symbol becomes objectified. For example when the double helix moves from "the double helix is LIKE ...." to "the double helix IS ....".
The above comments are to point out the dialectical tension within the concept of "representation" (see Markova, 2003) She points out that the French in the 13th century used the concept of representation to point to an act of COMMUNICATION between self/other and representations were dialogical. In the 14th century the concept of representations were translated into Enlish BUT in the process the term went through a transformation and became a subjective notion located IN the mind. The concept "representation" is also a significant symbol that has a tension between monological and dialogical explanations. (Markova, 2003)
This is a round about way of suggesting that Sameroff's article and his notion of development as a "dialectical" tension BETWEEN nature and nurture, in a figure/ground configuration or two sides of a coin is pragmaticly USEFUL for helping me to think out loud. [The coin metaphor is a process of objectification (Moscovici) through constructing a visual image of a DYNAMIC PROCESS] The double helix by holding the TENSION of nature and nurture is a powerful SIGNIFICANT SYMBOL that encourages us to socially communicate in order to SHARE PERSPECTIVES and Discourses and orientate our conversations (dialogue). Gillespie's notion of social representations points out that Meadian significant symbols and perspective taking are IMPLICIT in Moscovici's theory and Gillespie's project is to make this relation explicit. He has also operationalized Mead's and Moscovici's synthesized theory in his research on how Western tourists and Ladakh in the Himilaya mountains learn to exchange positions in their formation of dynamic identity.
Within the double helix image as a significant symbol are visualized or constructed other social representations such as the social representation of "social RECOGNITION" and the development through history of this self/other tensions. This THEMATA (Moscovici) of social recognition is obviously my project. I am preoccupied with exploring this particular antinomy but want to engage with a community of inquirers as I personally work out the centrality of OTHER in the notion of social recognition but within a larger framework. The double helix model of development may be this larger framework as this social representation is historically constructed within a community of inquirers through time.
I could go on and on as obviously this article has me reflecting on multiple levels and having numerous discourses in my head.
What do others think of the double helix (and/or the other visual images in the article). How central is the double helix (either as an "is Like" or "IS" objectification) to your notions of the human sciences?
----- Original Message -----
From: mike cole <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Subject: [xmca] Dialects of Development- Sameroff
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> A while back Ulvi asked about Arnie Sameroff. Here is a pdf of
> his recent
> presidential address to the Society for Research in Child Development.
> Perhaps worth discussion on xmca?
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