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[xmca] Using the term institution in a very broad sense
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- Subject: [xmca] Using the term institution in a very broad sense
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- Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 23:02:34 -0700
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The other thread on the meaning of words and word meaning is fascinating.
Trying to keep separate what Vygotsky said and meant from other's
perspectives on this topic seems to become intertwined Therefore I'm
starting a new thread.
I was interested in Andy's comment that there may be alternative "readings"
of this topic which are using similar words but have different word
meanings. Then Tony wrote the comment,
I am comfortable calling a language an institution, although that requires
using "institution" in a very broad sense.
For some purposes, it could be necessary to differentiate among social
institutions, legal institutions, cultural institutions, etc. But I am
completely comfortable recognizing all of these as institutions.
Tony bringing in the term "institution" leaves me wondering if
"institutions" is being used to express similar a concept to Dewey's
"systems of meanings" or Gadamer's "frameworks" or"horizons of
understanding" or Merleau-Ponty's notion of "sedimentation" or
Wittgenstein's notion of "fly-bottles". [notice how these concepts are all
metaphors or images but that's another thread] These metaphors point to the
IMPLICIT background cultural-historical objectively real assumptions which
become expressed [made sense of] as persons learn to participate within
these institutional formations. [ thrown into the always already existing
real institutions]. The relational intersubjective dialogical learning of
these historically constituted institutional formations [in
modernity] constitute particular situated psychological formations of
personal subjectivity which emerge as the person RESPONDS to being
recognized as participating in the institutionally structured learning
processes. In the process of learning these institutional forms of
coordination and regulation particular modes of "seeing" and "knowing" as a
gestalt perspective [with no gap between seeing and knowing] constitute
particular KINDS of identity formation. These kinds of identity are
instituted [but not determined]. The person at birthhas entered the
hermeneutic circle of learning and the person's subjectivity or identity as
figure or sense is a PART of this system of objective cultural-historical
"system of meanings."
The sociocultural turn in psycholgy is the developing awareness
[consciousness?] or sense of these backgrounds or common grounds that
intersubjectively mediate our development as particular KINDS of persons.
I started a new thread to draw attention to the "fly-bottles" [institutional
frameworks] at the center of learning [as enculturation].
Martin, your article reflecting on learning as ontological and not merely
epistemological is central to my reflections. Also your reflections that the
constructivist notion of development and the interactional notion of
development both lack an historical [institutional?] perspective are central
to my reflections on "systems of meaning" as the objective phenomena from
which sense emerges as consciousness.
Andy, reading your reflections on this same topic, from my perspective,
seems to share much common ground with Martin's position. Different
emphasis maybe, but the common ground seems to be much greater than the
Of course, I may be off base completely in my interpretation of how others
are using the word"institution" and its possible word meanings but I'm
wondering if "institution" is linked to the notion of "systems of meaning"
I may be mixing up various discourses and my thoughts may lack precision or
coherence, [eclectic and unsystematic] but this RESPONSE to the other
threads discussed on the list serve is my struggle to make sense of systems
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