[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] Fleer/Hedegaard for discussion

I have just finished reading Marilyn and Marianna's excellent article. It was a great choice against strong competition.

M&M begin from a very clear conception of Vygotsky's "social situation of development," and in my view, one faithful to LSV's original insight. And following how they both utilise and test out this concept in a single case study has very much interested me. The decision to follow a single case, rather than the usual method of using a survey of 100,000 kids and then doing mindless statistics, is very welcome, because only such an approach can bring out a *concept* of what is at work here.

In particular, M&M investigate, not just the SSD of a child within the system of activity constituted by the family, or by the school, but specifically focus on the normal situation (once over infancy) or being involved in a multiplicity (in this case two) of social situations of development, each with different, conflicting sets of expectations being placed on the child. Plus a mutual lack of understanding between the adults involved in the two institutions.

It is remarkable how the child manages to adapt to this internal conflict, although it is clear that he is not flourishing.

M&M have drawn in fairly clear outline I think what the concrete (conflicted) social situation of development is. Doing this is a very important theoretical task. My only cautious questions might be, that rather than expressing the conflict manifested from participation in two different institutions (family + school) in terms of *value* sets, I would have thought that terms of *expectation* (and maybe role definition) might give more information, maybe?? and although the prose is creepily vivid in its description of Andrew's social situation (all too familiar maybe?), what I didn't get was very much about how Andrew conceived it. Only the very keen observations about his "scanning" and "roaming" activity. It is after all Andrew who is mediating this complex situation. I guess research is not magic, and maybe this is all that is actually evident. The observation of the interface between the two institutions was good too of course.

Anyway, well done Marilyn and Marianna. Great work! and I hope to see more of it. The concept of "social situation" is very rich and needs to be invetigated and tested out like this.


mike cole wrote:
Folks-- I fear I may have slipped up and not sent out link for the article
for discussion. You can go to
Taylor and Francis web page for MCA, but you can also obtain here for now.

Read, learn, discuss...
xmca mailing list

Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 Skype andy.blunden An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity: http://www.brill.nl/scss

xmca mailing list