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


The quotation from David McNeil at the start of Sinha's chapter expresses perfectly what I was struggling to articulate:

"Grammars ... refer to real structures, though not to psychologically real structures in the processing sense ... a grammar is a description of our knowledge of a social institution—the language—and because of this basis in social or institutional reality, rather than in cognitive functioning, grammars and psychological processes have no more than the loose relationships they appear, in fact, to have. The role of grammar during speech programming is analogous to the role of other social institutions during individual behaviour. This role is to define and evaluate the behaviour of individuals. It is not to cause the behaviour" (McNeill 1979: 293).


On Jun 19, 2011, at 10:17 AM, mike cole wrote:

> 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.
> mike
> 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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