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Re: [xmca] Development of development

Hello Larry:

Thank you for reintroducing this topic, it has a long life and glad to see 
it continue.  I can't really comment greatly on Habermas, lifeworlds or 
the like.


the reason for this post is to inquire about the dialectic in Habermas' 
writing.  I have just briefly read a few critiques and am seeing 
dichotomies between social and individual and am lacking enough knowledge 
about Habermas to find the dialectic.  Could you perhaps enlighten me on 
this for I have read enough of your writing to know you value the 

Just want to mention this has been a bountiful year of morels and wild 
asparagas;  yum!


Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent by: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
05/14/2010 10:09 AM
Please respond to ablunden; Please respond to "eXtended Mind, Culture, 

        To:     "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
        Subject:        Re: [xmca] Development of development


This doubtless seems exceptionally pedantic, but in my view 
"socially situated development" is something quite different 
from "the social situation of development."

As I see it, when Vygotsky emphasises the importance of 
identifying and understanding the *situation* which drives 
development he is requiring us to form a concept of the 
situation, whatever it may be in a given case. He makes a 
contrast between this approach and a description of the (let 
us say for the sake of contrast) the context or environment 
in which the child happens to find themself. This context or 
environment is characterized in terms of its various 
attributes, such as the ethnic background of parents, 
socioeconomic status, values, and so on. This way of 
characterising the relation is really complexive (to use 
Vygotsky's word) and not conceptual as such.

You correctly point out the need for a conceptual grasp of 
the lifeworld's character, but I think "situation" is 
different from situating something, Larry. Do you see what I 
mean? If we have the characteristics of the surrounding 
world on one hand and the development on the other, then we 
have situated the development but we don't know the situation.


Larry Purss wrote:
> Hi everyone
> I thought I would log on and reflect on social situations of development 
[Fleer and Hedegaard article.]
> I want to bring in Martin's ideas from his edited book "Cultural and 
Critical Perspectives on Human Development" (2001)  On page 142, 143 he 
elaborates on Habermas's notion of the "lifeworld" to explore the 
development of development [innovations in the institutions that define 
specific developmental pathways]
> Martin, following Habermas, contrasts lifeworlds with RATIONALIZED 
SYSTEMS [institutional structures that develop particular "kinds of 
persons". I believe this distinction of institutions as existing within a 
tension between different ways to structure relational practices is 
critical to our reflection on socially situated development.
> Martin offers a key insight when he states "The rationalization efforts 
depended for their effect on the CONTINUED OPERATION OF THE LIFEWORLD of 
the school, without having an adequately CONCEPTUAL grasp of the 
lifeworlds character.
> As we go forward in describing socially situated development I believe 
this recognition of the foundational requirement for implementing 
rationalized systems depends on maintaining lifeworlds.
> However the contradictions involved in this statement are obvious as the 
more "successful" the implementation of rationalized systems of 
institutional practices, the more fragmented the lifeworlds become.
> The "project" [Andy's term] that I see Fleer & Hedegaard engaged in in 
their explication of socially situated development can be enriched by 
including the notion of the lifeworld's character [and the VALUES this 
notion implies]. 
> Martin also brings in Latour's notion of classrooms and families 
existing as institutions as NODES within a wide ranging NETWORK of distal 
rationalized SYSTEMS that exert "a relationist ontology" (Latour, 1997 as 
cited in Packer p. 143) that threatens the "bursting of the capacity of 
the lifeworld" Habermas (as cited in Packer p.143).
> The development of development  trajectory of our current institutional 
structures needs to explore the historically continuing destruction  of 
schools as lifeworlds.  The 5th dimension, and Golden key schools are 
particular examples of responding to this rationalizing process but 
philosophically I believe we need to engage in asking how we can maintain 
lifeworlds within our current public schools.
> Larry
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Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 
Skype andy.blunden
An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity: 

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