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Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
Yes, the notion of "attunements" strikes me as a nice metaphorical way in to the issues of meaning-and-feeling being context-sensitive but not context-determined. And also recognizing that there is a certain degree of "negotiation" going on -- though I tend to reserve that term more for dialogic situations where interests are conflicting and getting both goals is not easily done. I might say instead that there is an active process of meaning-making and feeling-attuning that is never entirely satisfying, always still-in-process, until we move on to something else.
As in the discussion with Michael R. about Derrida, Rorty and meaning, this is where I think Pragmatism in its more sophisticated, Peircean forms and continental "deconstruction" can live productively together. For Peirce the "interpretant" or the semiotic process as a whole, dynamically viewed, is endless, it always keeps driving itself forward, there is no stable, final, definitive meaning. And clearly also for Derrida meanings cannot be stable, because in interacting with them, or in framing them in terms of differences and deferrals of alternatives, we get caught up in a process in which interpretation, or elaboration of meaning never stops.
This seems to be quite upsetting to people who have low tolerance for ambiguity and absence of closure. It hardly means that life is impossible, because it would seem to be the very essence of being alive that there is always something next, and it always arises in part from our now. Time makes itself move forward. What it does make impossible is certainty and Truth, absolutes and essences. The strongest objections to this approach that I've heard are the political ones: that you can't beat the rhetoric of certainty with a discourse of open-endedness. Or even, that you can't decide to pull a trigger without the kind of certainty that I would claim is impossible.
But I don't think either of these objections are more than fears. People do get drawn to dogmatics, but they just as surely rebel against them and seek the freedom to re-attune, re-imagine, re-invent. And I think it is quite possible to pull the trigger while remaining very unsure of the consequences. People do it all the time. Certainty cannot be the sine qua non of moral judgment, else we choose between moral paralysis and fanaticism. In fact in many ways our modernist emphasis on truth and certainty seems to be leading to just this dichotomy. The wise hesitate, while the fools take action.
The moral implications of our theories of meaning are not often enough explored with sense.
Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
University of California -- San Diego
La Jolla, CA
On Apr 1, 2010, at 11:20 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
> the interpersonal is not the sociocultural seems to be a fascinating topic.
> I'm on a role on reading Martin Packer's articles off the internet.
> Martin, I know these articles are a decade old but I'm a decade behind on my historical development of ideas so for me they are very current. And I do appreciate your systematic and coherent ways of linking ideas that are dancing in my (I'm hesitant to say "head")
> I'm now reading your article "Sociocultural and Constructivist Theories of Learning: Ontology, not just Epistemology" IN the journal Educational Psychologist, 35(4). p. 227-241.
> I appreciate your historical lens for viewing sociocultural theory from Hegel to the dialectical materialists, phenomenologists, postmodernists, poststructuralists, and pragmatists.[I would add relational psychoanalysis is very much engaged with these themes]
> You mention 6 themes of these nondualist ontologies
> 1.The person is constructed
> 2. In a social context
> 3. Formed through practical activity
> 4. Formed in RELATIONSHIPS OF DESIRE AND RECOGNITION [my emphasis]
> 5. these relationships can split the person [tension]
> 6. Motivating the search FOR IDENTITY. [my emphasis]
> Martin, in your excellent elaboration of each point I pay particular attention to themes 4, 5, and 6. They move us into themes of learning as ontology and not just epistemoloy [how we developmentally come "to know and understand"
> I want to amplify one specific quote on these 3 themes. The reference is from Greeno and TMSMTAPG (1998) as elaborated in your article.
> Individuals operate not with schemata and procedures 9as cognitive science models human behavior0 but through ATTUNEMENTS to constraints and affordances. Attunements are 'regular patterns of an individual's participation' (p.9 Greeno) they support but do not determine activity, for 'activity is continual NEGOTIATION.' 'Learning in this situative view, is hypothesized to be BECOMING ATTUNED to CONSTRAINTS and affordances of activity and becoming more centrally INVOLVED in the pracices of community" 9p. 11 Greeno as quoted Packer p.230)
> To Martin, Jay, Andy, Mike, and everyone else the CONCEPT "attunement" I believe captures the centrality of e-motion and affect in all negotiations of affordances and constraints. Tension [splits] must be navigated "feelingly" as one's identity "forms" "emerges" "develops" in sociocultural communities.
> This is my attempt to bring Martin's notion of nondualist ontology into the conversation and link it with my theme of e-motions AS ATTUNEMENTS.
>> From this perspective I agree with Jay's responses on this theme.
> All the various discourses on social "recognition" [especially when connected to the theme of "response to recognition" [see V. Reddy's book "How Children Know Minds" which Rod P. recommended] also is elaborating the e-motional realm.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jay Lemke <email@example.com>
> Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010 9:25 pm
> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Just another small note on the basic "interpersonal is not the
>> sociocultural" theme --
>> It used to be my responsibility in a phd program to teach about
>> Vygotskyan and sociocultural approaches to teaching, learning,
>> development, etc. And to ask the questions for either the
>> written or oral qualifying exams related to these themes.
>> In the course, and on the exams, I found it necessary to push
>> students very hard to understand that "social" did not simply
>> mean interpersonal, but also cultural. Whether talking about ZPD
>> or scaffolding or any sort of social theory of learning,
>> students, even good, bright, phd students, unless previously
>> trained in anthropology (rare) and even if with some training in
>> sociology or political science, simply saw the social as always
>> the interaction among individuals. (Non-American students seemed
>> to have less of this problem.)
>> Many had taken a lot of psychology courses, all individualistic
>> and mentalistic in orientation ("old" cogsci). Even with
>> political science backgrounds, as some had, they were equipped
>> with the (to me complete nonsense of) rational actor theory. And
>> in sociology, somehow Durkheim seemed never to register (and
>> Marx of course does not get mentioned much).
>> I usually found I needed to give them a good dose of cultural
>> anthropology, and a little systems theory, and I was not above
>> reifying sociocultural systems a little more than I normally
>> would, to make the point and get them over the hump. There is a
>> profound sense in which individual human beings are simply NOT
>> the primary unit of analysis for phenomena like learning,
>> meaning, and even feeling.
>> I like to think I succeeded a little more than half the time.
>> Jay Lemke
>> Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
>> Educational Studies
>> University of Michigan
>> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>> Visiting Scholar
>> Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
>> University of California -- San Diego
>> La Jolla, CA
>> USA 92093
>> On Apr 1, 2010, at 2:17 PM, peter jones wrote:
>>> Hello, As an aside to your discussion on this, I would just
>> like to provide a very high-level view:
>>> Within Hodges' model the interpersonal is not the
>>> In previous blog posts I've referred to the 'interpersonal'
>> domain as 'intrapersonal' being concerned with individual
>> thoughts, beliefs, experience.
>>> I'm wondering increasingly about all the 'holistic bridges' or
>> 'disciplinary highways' of which psychophysical, psychosocial
>> are examples:
>>> Best regards,
>>> Peter Jones
>>> Hodges' Health Career - Care Domains - Model
>>> h2cm: help2Cmore - help-2-listen - help-2-care
>>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca mailing list
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