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[xmca] Re: Using the term institution in a very broad sense

I first encountered the idea of language as social institution in Durkheim,
Larry. I found this piece by Chris Sinha who is always instructive to read.

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 11:02 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> distinctions.
> 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"
> Larry
> PS
> 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
> of meaning.

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