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Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural

I'm not sure about David's position on this, but I recommend the attached article by Levykh emphasizing the extent to which LSV strongly coupled emotional and intellectual development and saw the former as necessary for and indeed generative of the latter.

I believe it's been mentioned here before, and it certainly merits discussion in relation to a number of recent themes.


Attachment: Levykh-Affect&ZPD.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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 3, 2010, at 5:04 PM, Larry Purss wrote:

> David,
> Emotion seems to be a word which  you distrust and often implies immaturity, egocentrism, and a neo-romantic idealization of the passions over reason and mature deliberation. As a person develops higher mental functions, character and attitudes are formed that support self-reflection and more reasoned and dispassionate activity in collaboration with others. It is this reasonableness which encourages shared mutual activity. Is this a fair assessment of your thinking or am I misreading your  position?
> Rather than emotion, if the term "trust/mistrust" was substituted and the conversation was on which sociocultural settings engender trust and which engender distrust, would this be a way of opening up another perspective on emotional engagement or disengagement.
> Martin in his articles talks about schools  as having two locations where "social recognition" is received. From the teachers through a recognition of achievement, and through the peer culture, where social recognition is often in tension with adult recognition.  Ideally, I believe the peer culture would not be a significant location for recognition if schools were "lifeworlds" and not rational institutional structures [as Martin's writings elaborate] There is nothing  natural or inevitable about "peer culture" [as Suzanne Gaskin's research points out] BUT social recognition through peer culture is a formidable reality in our current public schools. WHY?  I suspect the tension between trust/mistrust  in our current school cultures leaves many "students" without the social recognition from the adult lifeworld so the default location for recognition is the peer culture.  And this location for recognition is a place of immaturity.
> My interest in emotions is really a question of why the adults in school settings have abandoned the "lifeworld" to same age peer groups who do not have the maturity to guide our students. 
> David, the issue of "identity formation" and the tension [splits] in our young as a result of not being recognized in their becoming is a reality which Martin's work elaborates forcefully. The pervasive tension of trust/mistrust and the search for recognition within peer cultures is a sociocultural and historical development which indicates adults are not doing an adequate job of guiding our young. 
> The question could be asked, shouldn't the family be the location where recognition is received and schools should focus on knowledge and concept development. An assumption could be made that students who are peer oriented in their search for recognition need to have more parental scaffolding.
> I could agree with this assumption ideally, but the current reality is that for many, many students their lifeworld needs are being met in immature and egocentric peer cultures. 
> Needs for recognition are EXPERIENCED EMOTIONALLY and I believe these emotional themes must be engaged by the adults in the students lifeworld.
> Larry
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
> Date: Saturday, April 3, 2010 3:44 pm
> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
> To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> I thought that Ahab's closing line "Truth hath no confines" was 
>> a lame one, because it does not actually suggest any concrete 
>> higher emotion other than jealousy or any concrete social 
>> emotion other than fair play.
>> But there is another reason. It is not actually Ahab's closing 
>> line at all. The passage (p. 167 of the Oxford Classics edition) 
>> continues like this:
>> "Truth hath no confines. Take off thine eye! more intolerable 
>> than fiends' glarings is a doltish stare! So, so; thou reddenest 
>> and palest; my heat has melted thee to anger glow. But look ye, 
>> Starbuck, what is said in heat that thing unsays itself; there 
>> are men from whom warm words are small indignity. I meant not to 
>> incense thee..."
>> Lame stuff! Ahab is saying that:
>> a) You are a dolt.
>> b) I was angry when I said that, so it unsays itself.
>> c) There are men so noble that any insult they give you actually 
>> enobles you, and I am one.
>> Starbuck concludes, and so do we, that Ahab is either a lunatic 
>> or a jerk or both. He may be an entertaining jerk (the way we 
>> may find the professional hysterics who now dominate the radio 
>> waves and the political discourse in the USA entertaining) but 
>> he is a dangerous man to follow, and Starbuck feels, correctly, 
>> that they are doomed.
>> This is not a reasonable argument for the role of emotion in 
>> moral thinking; it is in fact a strong argument AGAINST it. Sure 
>> enough, it is also one that emerges very clearly in the passages 
>> in Martin's article where he discusses the response to the "burning".
>> I think that the youthful Martin Packer greatly exaggerates the 
>> strengths of egocentrism, and I think this is a reflection of 
>> his appropriation of Heidegger's romantic belief that thinking 
>> with your spinal column is somehow nobler than thinking with 
>> your brain, and both are better than thinking socially. 
>> But I also think that the young Martin Packer sees very clearly 
>> that you cannot get the sociocultural notion of justice out of 
>> the interpersonal act of revenge: an eye for eye and a tooth for 
>> a tooth doth leave the whole world blind and toothless, to put 
>> it in Gandhi's rather doltish words.
>> David Kellogg
>> Seoul National University of Education
>> PS: I think Derrida's argument in "On forgiveness" is precisely 
>> that forgiving the unforgiveable is not divine at all, but very 
>> human. But, there are very many acts which are genuinely 
>> unforgiveable, and which should not be forgiven either; we 
>> demean the unforgiveness of the victim and we do violence to 
>> human justice when we even try. 
>> It seems to me that without a clear distinction between the 
>> sociocultural and the interpersonal, we can hardly distinguish 
>> forgiveness from mere forgetfulness. We need to recognize and to 
>> remember where exactly the desire to think with your spine and 
>> to think less of those who think socioculturally must inexorably 
>> lead, and where it led Heidegger and his neo-romantic cothinkers. 
>> dk
>> --- On Sat, 4/3/10, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:
>> From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> Date: Saturday, April 3, 2010, 12:15 PM
>> Larry,
>> What more can I say than that I appreciate your appreciation!
>> Once I've written something I rarely go back and reread it, 
>> unless someone else draws my attention to it. I suppose I have a 
>> 'project,' but it would be more accurate to say that a project 
>> has me, so for both these reasons it's a little jarring to read 
>> descriptions of my own work.
>> I have the bad habit of trying to figure out for myself what I 
>> should do next. The result is that I often seem to be heading in 
>> the opposite direction to everyone else. The moral action 
>> monograph was a dissertation in a department of psychology that 
>> at the time had never seen a thesis that was not based on 
>> quantitative analysis, and mine had not a single number. My 
>> masters thesis had also been an interpretive analysis: the 
>> department's judgment was that it was accepted, but I should 
>> consider it officially a failure and never do that sort of thing 
>> again! The consequence is that I have become somewhat accustomed 
>> to operating, at least at times, under the radar. (The masters 
>> thesis was published, however, in Human Development. In 
>> retrospect it has some Vygotskian elements.)
>> And at I times I seem to be unable to communicate clearly what I 
>> am up to. Changing Classes was based on three years of fieldwork 
>> that was underfunded because the reaction to my research 
>> proposals was that they "lacked focus." Since the aim was to try 
>> to study the whole system, schools plus community plus 
>> economy..., that seemed to be missing the point.
>> So it is a pleasure to be participating in a forum like this 
>> where what I seem to be doing, and seem to have done, seems to 
>> make sense to some of the other participants!
>> Martin
>> p.s. your point about Willis is well made. The group of kids he 
>> calls the 'earoles' must also have been actively forming their 
>> identity
>> p. p.s. I'm not sure that David K couldn't put down my article. 
>> My sense was it threw him to the floor and he was unable to get 
>> up!  :)
>> On Apr 3, 2010, at 12:35 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>>> Martin
>>> I have not yet had a chance to read the article on emotions 
>> that David K. couldn't put down.
>>> However, I appreciate all your writings and the themes in 
>> which you are engaged.  Your "project" has direct and immediate  
>> relevance for my day to day interactions in schools in the role 
>> of a counsellor.  I am struggling to understand the role of 
>> emotions in sociocultural settings and the "attunement" BETWEEN 
>> persons [students] and the relational patterns that both 
>> constrain and afford the formation of identity in institutional 
>> school settings.  
>>> Martin, I also enjoy reading a single authors historical 
>> journey in their elaborating of their theme. Your theme "what 
>> KINDS of persons are CONSTITUTED in schools may look very 
>> different today from 1985 but it is the coherence of the theme 
>> that I find fascinating.  Also your writings in 1985 were also 
>> being elaborated in that specific historical time period in a 
>> particular culture and I'm sure also reflected the current 
>> debates being engaged at that time. Therefore, reading your 1985 
>> article is reading an historical document that was in 
>> conversation with the ideas of that time.  However, the big 
>> question, "what kinds of persons" has been a constant theme 
>> which is being elaborated as part of a much wider engagement 
>> with what kinds of worlds do we want to share. [Bruner's "actual 
>> minds, possible worlds"  or Berman's writings on  "enchanted world's"]
>>> Like Andy, I know little about Derrida, but the little I know 
>> seems to emphasize "de-construction" which shares some 
>> similarities to Buddhist notions "no-self" and "process". I 
>> personally recognize a deep "validity" to these notions. It 
>> helps my personal journey but gives little guidance in how to 
>> proceed in schools. This may be a disservice to Derrida and I'll 
>> have to learn more.
>>> Peter S. Thanks for the article just posted. on texts and contexts.
>>> Martin,
>>> I appreciated your engagement with "Willis" in your book 
>> "Changing Classes".  I also believe his notion of "the lads" 
>> though accurate, is one-sided and doesn't recognize that ALL 
>> students are forming their identity, some being recognized and 
>> acquiring agency and others going unrecognized and forming 
>> identities in opposition to normative school culture. 
>>> A final point that I personally find relevant in your writings 
>> is your reading of Habermas and the concept of the LIFEWORLD  
>> elaborated in "Changing Classes."  Your mentioning observing 
>> students "in transition" from their home lifeworlds and entering 
>> rational  distally controlled networked nodes of institutional 
>> activity create profound ruptures in identity. The lucky 
>> students who are able to be successfully transformed into 
>> "independent persons with self-mastery" move into positions of 
>> privilege while others who NEED the "attunement" of a lifeworld" 
>> to develop agency go unrecognized.  My overriding interest is 
>> how to support schools being lifeworld contexts of connection 
>> and not rationalized locations where we create achievement 
>> focused  kinds of persons.  The other thread on the 
>> developmental emergence of "scientific" and "academic" cognitive 
>> knowledge structures in the normative sociocultural schools of 
>> rationalized bureaucratic  cultures of
>> modernity is also in tension with the lifeworld and its 
>> focus on "attunement".  
>>> Larry
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
>>> Date: Friday, April 2, 2010 6:39 pm
>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>> David,
>>>> Lots of good points! I hope the rice, though delayed, 
>> restored 
>>>> your equanimity.
>>>> I haven't read this juvenile piece in a long time, and I 
>> would 
>>>> have to reread to respond to your remarks. My point in 
>> sharing 
>>>> it was simply as an example of an attempt to study emotions 
>>>> without reducing them to individual subjective experiences. 
>> Did 
>>>> I really say emotion is nonrational? That was badly wrong, 
>> for sure.
>>>> Martin
>>>> On Apr 2, 2010, at 8:20 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>> Martin:
>>>>> I downloaded this last night and read the whole thing almost 
>>>> without getting out off the floor (we Koreans are floor 
>> dwelling 
>>>> creatures). Of course, it was my wife's turn to cook dinner. 
>>>>> I have to admit that in addition to not having to cook, part 
>>>> of my huge appreciation for this article was the emotionally 
>>>> positive valence of your later work (and in particular 
>> "Changing 
>>>> Classes", which I read ages ago and which really changed 
>> classes 
>>>> for ME).
>>>>> The Structure of Moral Action, in comparison, reads like a 
>>>> very gripping piece of Packer 'juvenilia" (that is, pre-
>> Vygotsky 
>>>> Packer), you know, sort of like pre-Jane Eyre works by 
>> Charlotte 
>>>> Bronte. One recognizes that something more, something much 
>>>> bigger and better than a critique of Kohlberg and an 
>>>> appreciation of Heidegger is in the air....
>>>>> My ink starts to flow on p. 5 where you say that emotion is 
>> a 
>>>> "nonrational" element of action. This seems a very 
>> nonwholistic, 
>>>> nonSpinozan, and at bottom idealist way of considering 
>> emotion, 
>>>> and it leads in a pretty direct way to other problems. 
>>>>> On p. 9 you quote Heidegger approvingly to the effect that 
>>>> human action has a semantic rather than a causal or a logical 
>>>> organization. But semantics includes causal and logical 
>>>> organization and in fact could never develop its hermeneutic 
>>>> (including its noncausal and nonlogical) component without them.
>>>>> When we do quantitative studies of classroom discourse here 
>> in 
>>>> Seoul, we end up with correlations (e.g. between the 
>>>> demandingness of teacher questions and the length of learner 
>>>> responses in words). These correlations are not causal. But 
>> when 
>>>> we do THIS:
>>>>> a) T: What's this?
>>>>> S: Monster (sic).
>>>>> b) T: Tell me about this.
>>>>> S: It's a monster.
>>>>> We are in a much stronger position to talk about causality 
>> and 
>>>> logic for two reasons. 
>>>>> First of all, the question CAUSES the answer in a very 
>> direct 
>>>> way: without the question there would be no answer. Secondly, 
>> by 
>>>> comparing the way the question in a) causes the answer in a) 
>> and 
>>>> the question in b) causes the answer in b) we can say 
>> something 
>>>> pretty definite about the way in which teacher demandingeness 
>>>> causes a longer answer measure in words, and using our 
>>>> statistical approach we can generalize pretty convincingly to 
>>>> large bodies of data. (True, it doesn't always convince 
>>>> reviewers at MCA!)
>>>>> Opposing the causal/logical and the semantic is  a 
>>>> symptom of the kind of infantile disorder that my grads 
>> suffer 
>>>> from when they tie themselves up in knots at night wondering 
>> if 
>>>> they should use quantitative methods or qualitative methods 
>> (as 
>>>> if we can count anything without judging its quality, or 
>> judge 
>>>> quality objectively without measuring!)
>>>>> Vygotsky calls his method a causal genetic, and even a 
>> causal-
>>>> deterministic method for very good reason. Obviously, he 
>>>> considers that opposing the hermeneutic to the logical and 
>> even 
>>>> the causal, or the semantic to the causal or logical is not 
>> at 
>>>> all helpful in considering the growth of semantics.
>>>>> More,  I think it's a symptom of exactly what drove 
>>>> Adorno crazy about Heidegger: his "jargon of authenticity" 
>>>> whereby the value of emotion was NOT in its social nature at 
>> all 
>>>> but precisely in its supposedly immediate and unmediated 
>> "ready 
>>>> at hand" quality.
>>>>> On p. 13 you discuss Hume's distinction between the object 
>> of 
>>>> a passion and its cause, and you compare being attacked by a 
>>>> lion to the fear of nuclear war. When I tried this on my 
>> wife, 
>>>> who was fiddling with the unready-at-hand new rice cooker we 
>>>> bought, she remarked, with visible annoyance, that lions are 
>>>> even more abstract than nuclear weapons for most people in 
>>>> Korea, so we had to substitute a large dog instead. 
>>>>> To call the two things by the same word, "fear" (much less 
>>>> emotion) is a linguistic amalgam, like saying that running a 
>>>> business and running a quarter mile and having a runny nose 
>> are 
>>>> all the same concept. When I am afraid of North Korea setting 
>>>> off a plutonium bomb near Seoul I can still sleep at night, 
>> but 
>>>> when I am attacked by a large labrador retriever while I am 
>>>> running in the park I do not lie down on the pavement and go 
>> to 
>>>> sleep. The SEMANTIC relation of these two things is a problem 
>> of 
>>>> the etymology of language; it's a causal genetic problem for 
>>>> semantics, and that is all. 
>>>>> Understanding this relationship cannot for a single moment 
>>>> help us assign a function to emotion in moral decisions (I am 
>>>> not even sure that this is the right question to be asking; 
>>>> wouldn't it make more sense to talk of the role of moral 
>>>> decisions in the creation of social emotion?)
>>>>> Heidegger, in your quotes on p. 17, appears a simpering 
>>>> romantic. He genuinely believes that pure beholding does not 
>>>> cause my wife's terror of the attacking dog, and it is more 
>>>> usefully ascribed to her mood. Worse, he imagines that this 
>> mood 
>>>> has the positive function of getting us to notice the 
>>>> variability of the green shades of life which would other 
>> wise 
>>>> be dimmed to the grey of theory. There--we have found a job 
>> for 
>>>> emotion in moral functioning; it is what restores the ready-
>> at-
>>>> hand to the present-at-hand.
>>>>> At this point, I describe to my wife the prisoner's dilemma 
>> on 
>>>> which your empirical work is based. She has no experience at 
>> all 
>>>> of the hypothetical prisoner's dilemma, although we have 
>> both, 
>>>> at various points in our lives, experienced real ones, 
>>>>> When I get to the part about the answer matrix, she utters a 
>>>> curse in an obscure Chinese dialect at the unready-at-hand 
>> rice 
>>>> cooker, and blinks. "But all you have to do is communicate," 
>> she 
>>>> remarks. "Then the prisoners are always more powerful than 
>> the 
>>>> jailors." 
>>>>> I explain that this is not possible, because of the 
>> structure 
>>>> of the game. But why, she asks, should the structure of the 
>> game 
>>>> trump the structure of culture itself? Why not begin with the 
>>>> idea of trust and derive competition and cooperation from 
>> that? 
>>>> Isn't that how things worked out causally and genetically?
>>>>> The other reason I managed to read the whole thing without 
>>>> stirring from my seat is that she somehow pushed the "slow 
>> cook" 
>>>> function on the rice cooker.
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Seoul National University of Education
>>>>> --- On Fri, 4/2/10, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:
>>>>> From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
>>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
>>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>> Date: Friday, April 2, 2010, 4:47 PM
>>>>> Larry,
>>>>> Here is the link. Clicking this should download the file as 
>> a 
>>>> PDF. At least, it works for me.
>>>>> best wishes
>>>>> Martin
>> <http://www.mathcs.duq.edu/~packer/Pubs/Packer%20Moral%20Action.pdf>> 
>>>>> On Apr 2, 2010, at 5:08 PM, Larry Purss wrote:
>>>>>> Martin you mention you recently scanned a large file that 
>>>> deals with emotions [from 1989] and links it to sociocultural 
>> theory.>>>> It did not come through on my computer.
>>>>>> Could you please send again.  I appeciate how you bring 
>>>> in Heidegger, Garfinkel, and others to engage a 
>> constructivist 
>>>> and sociocultural dialogue. 
>>>>>> Being [as-was] and becoming [as-if] within HISTORICAL 
>>>> frameworks is an approach I want to explore.
>>>>>> Learning as acquiring knowledge is central to the mission 
>> of 
>>>> schooling but your emphasizing the ontological realm of 
>>>> sociocultural theory and the historical roots BEFORE Vygotsky 
>> is 
>>>> "knowledge" I want to aquire in order to locate Vygotsky in 
>> this 
>>>> larger theme of social recognition, tension, and forming identity.
>>>>>> I sense that your approach will help link my other 
>> interests 
>>>> in relational psychoanalysis and "attachment theory" with 
>> these 
>>>> broader historical themes.
>>>>>> Thanks Martin
>>>>>> Larry
>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>> From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
>>>>>> Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010 4:36 pm
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Interpersonal Is Not the Sociocultural
>>>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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