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Re: [xmca] Re: Roaming, Scanning and the Objectivity of the SSD

Larry, you are posting in the middle of a normal workday. Are you not teaching? Or are you simultaneously teaching and engaging in online conversations? 
On 2010-05-18, at 9:16 AM, Larry Purss wrote:

You mention a lifeworld forms first because a lifeworld recognizes DIFFERENCES [perceptual cues] BUT SIMILARITIES depend on an IMAGINAL SUPERORDINATE development .
We must IMAGINE a SYSTEM where BOTH exemplars are COORDINATED.
David, this way of FRAMING our "horizons of understanding" as coordinating exemplars into superordinate  systems [of rationality]opens conversational spaces for asking how our "practices" [institutional/traditions] have lost sight of this IMAGINAL activity [phenomonological] as a practice of coordination and reified this practice [and activity] into Weber's and Habermas's conceptual image of RATIONALIZED OBJECTIVE SYSTEMS of INSTITUTIONALIZATION.

I wanted to mention Wolfgang Isser's notion that in the 1960's we were conceptualizing "social structure", in the 1980's we were conceptualizing the "linquistic turn", but today in the cultural surround we are engaging with DIFFERENCES and OTHER. 
It seems developmentally we are into a another revolutionary TURNING BACK to the lifeworld.

----- Original Message -----
From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010 9:09 pm
Subject: [xmca] Re: Roaming, Scanning and the Objectivity of the SSD
To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> Dear Carol and Larry (and Mike too, because I think this is 
> really ONE thread and not two)
> I think Bernstein says somewhere that the key question for 
> sociology is how the outside becomes inside. That is, of course, 
> the key question for sociocultural psychology as well. It seems 
> to me that as long as we conceive of the social situation of 
> development as a physical site for activity, there is 
> essentially no way to answer it, and we are always left puzzling 
> about how one child can be two places at the same time.
> I think that when Leontiev and Vygotsky split (and I think the 
> split was a genuine one), it was essentially over this question. 
> Leontiev decided that Vygotsky had made speech the "demiurge" of 
> thinking. and he saw this as leading in the direction of 
> idealism. In response, Leontiev took an OBJECTIVIST position; 
> the child develops by adapting to the environment, by making the 
> demands of that environment his own, and by mastering the 
> environment by allowing it to master his own demands. But if we 
> replace the word "master" with "accomodate" and "assimilate", we 
> have, as Kozulin points out, a straightforwardly neo-Piagetian 
> theory, except that, being a good Stalinist, Leontiev does not 
> see any basic contradiction between other regulation and self 
> regulation. 
> Besides the problem of the child being two places in one time, 
> there are two additional problems with this objectivist 
> definition: the putative mutual INFLUENCE of the child (or at 
> any rate the child's central neoformatoin) and the social 
> situation of development, and the INTERNAL nature of the crisis. 
> Neither one sits well with an objectivist definition of the 
> social situation of development, and both are completely 
> comprehensible if we see the SSD as being semiotic in nature. 
> Marilyn Fleer and Marianne Hedegaard, just like our previous 
> article for discussion by Beth Ferholt and Robert Lucasey, speak 
> of a reciprocal, dialectical, mutual influence between the 
> child's central neoformations and the social situation of 
> development. This two-way traffic provides the whole content of 
> the central line of development. But if we see the social 
> situation of development as a physical site for physical 
> activiteis like roaming or scanning, it's very hard to see this 
> as more than just an empty slogan. In what way does Andrew's 
> roaming "change" the layout of his home? How does his scanning 
> behavior fundamentally alter the school as an institution? His 
> whole tragedy, and his LACK of development, consists in this: it 
> does not.
> More--Vygotsky clearly says that the roots of the crisis are 
> INTERNAL, not external, and that the content of the crisis 
> consists of changes of an INTERNAL nature and not a conflict 
> between the child's will and the environment (see p. 296 of 
> Volume Five, where this is stated in completely unambiguous 
> language). But if the crisis is just the result of moving from 
> one environment to which Andrew has fully adapted (home) to 
> another where he is less well adapted (school) then there is no 
> serious sense in which this statement is true; the roots of the 
> crisis are external, and they are precisely caused by a conflict 
> between the child's burgenoning volition and the implacable 
> brick wall of the school.
> Vygotsky would have none of this; he insisted on a SEMIOTIC 
> social situation of development after the age of one, and even 
> before one, the social situation of development is both 
> objective (because it is social) and subjective (because it 
> is semiotic).The examples he gives us of social situations of 
> development are always RELATIONSHIPS: the child's physiological 
> independence in contradiction with biological dependence, the 
> child's hypersociality in contradiction with his lack of speech, 
> the child's "autonomous" speech/walking/thinking in 
> contradiction with the child's understanding of other's 
> speech/actions/thoughts, etc.
> It seems to me that as soon as we accept that the social 
> situation of development is a semiotic and not a physical 
> construct, all of the problems simply fall away. Of course the 
> child is NOT two places at one and the same time; the child 
> simply relates to all the places that the child is through the 
> same semiotic relationship: ostension, indication, naming, and 
> only later signifying. Of course, the child DOES have a mutual 
> influence on the social situation of development, because the 
> child's semiotic system is both linked to and distinct from 
> larger cultural semiotic system in which it develops. Of course, 
> the crisis IS fundamentally internal in its genetic roots; the 
> semiotic system at any given age period is the superproductive 
> but largely untapped semiotic resource brought into being by the 
> child's central neoformation, and the pressure of its 
> superproductivity on the main line of development is what 
> engenders the crisis.
> Larry, the reason why I used the term "disembodiment of meaning" 
> to refer to the next zone of development (for Andrew, and also 
> for my own mastery of Korean) is that I think development 
> involves SYSTEM and not simply LIFEWORLD. In Chapter Five of 
> Thinking and Speech, Vygotsky argues that children notice 
> difference before they notice similarity because differences 
> depend simply upon lifeworld perceptual cues, but similarities 
> depend on a system: we must imagine a superordinate concept of 
> which both similar objects are exemplars.
> The problem for both Andrew and myself is that we have locked 
> ourselves in the lifeworld. Andrew and I are both dependent 
> on concrete, tangible, physical, kinesthetic perceptible clues, 
> and we are limited to noticing differences: he depends on 
> roaming and scanning, and I depend on a losing strategy of 
> trying to infer grammatical similarities and semantic meanings 
> from the infinite pragmatic varieity of intonation and facial 
> expression. 
> Yet for both of us, the lifeworld provides abundant resources 
> for breaking out of the lifeworld. In Andrew's case, it is the 
> BOOKS to which he must apply his scanning skills. For me, it is 
> the disembodied GRAMMAR and VOCABULARY to which I must apply my 
> inferential bag of tricks. The problem, and here is where I find 
> myself in complete agreement with you, is that in both cases 
> there is no affective payoff, there is no concrete, tangible, 
> embodied answer to the question "Why should I care?"
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> --- On Sat, 5/15/10, Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca> wrote:
> From: Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Is the Transition from "Roaming" to 
> "Scanning" Developmental?
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 9:50 AM
> David,
> you mention that the next step in development is written 
> language as the process of the "disembodiment of meaning".  I 
> wonder what types of institutional structures create the 
> contexts that will facilitate the emergence of this new 
> "disembodied" relation to meaning.
> How secure does Andrew feel in the " traditional institutional 
> structure" of school.
> As a counsellor working in school settings I've observed over 
> and over with many "anxious" students who are roaming the 
> classroom to stay connected [much like Andrew] that there is not 
> the affective climate [for a particular student] to refocus on 
> learning to write.  
> My introducing the notion of a "lifeworld" is pointing to a 
> suggestion that learning to write [and developing a disembodied 
> relation to meaning] requires a developmental situation that is 
> relational and supports  Andrew to stay connected to the other 
> students and teacher.  Until these relational patterns of 
> connection are established [or he develops a more encapsulated 
> individuated identity that can navigate rationalized 
> institutional systems] learning to write may not be a priority 
> for Andrew.
> David I don't want to assume that learning to write cannot be 
> done in a relational lifeworld conext [not an either/or tension] 
> but that depends on the types of school "traditions" that we 
> historically develop. 
> Nietzsche, in talking about traditions and institutional 
> structures said
> "The overthrow of beliefs is not immediately followed by the 
> overthrow of institutions; rather the new beliefs live for a 
> long time in the now desolated and eerie house of their 
> predecessors, which they themselves preserve, because of the 
> housing shortage." 
> I believe we could create institutional structures that are both 
> nurturing and develop writing but it requires examining the  
> rationalized systems and the presuppositions that keep the 
> traditional beliefs of the purpose of school alive.
> Larry 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com>
> Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010 4:03 am
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Is the Transition from "Roaming" to 
> "Scanning" Developmental?
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> D
>> It may be a forced "development", insofar as Andrew would 
> never 
>> be able to
>> roam the class physically, that much is clear. We don't for 
>> example know if
>> his language changed from home to school.How much of the other 
>> children'slanguage was he constructing? Insofar as this was 
>> qualitative research,
>> David is correct in his analysis of the flaw.
>> My sister learned Icelandic by watching Icelandic subtitles of 
>> mainly German
>> films when her second child was newborn.
>> Carol
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