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[xmca] Six key points on sociocultural models of development

Merleau-Ponty is certainly a good direction to go with desire and recognition.
For writings on desire and recognition in the more sociological tradition, you might want to check out W.I. Thomas' The Unadjusted Girl. Section 4 of Chapter 1 (p. 31). Check it out at:


Message: 9
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 07:30:16 -0700
From: Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Subject: [xmca] Six key points on sociocultural models of development
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Message-ID: <BANLkTimb+b7VV14eCr75T-eZj+sOwhst-g@mail.gmail.com>
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Hi Martin, Mike,

Mike, thanks for the Sinha article on language as a biological niche and
social institution.  I'm working my way through the article.

The concept of affordances within niches draws attention to species specific
forms of meaning AS ......  Gibson on p. 8 of Sinha's article says
affordances are DIRECTLY PERCEIVED as it potentiates the activation of
perception-action circuits which form objects as directly perceived PARTS of
gestalen [meaningful wholes] or niches.

Martin, I now want to bring in one of the key themes of the six you outline
in your article [I would recommend others read the article Martin posted on
the ontology of the sociocultural turn]  This is the theme of "desire &
recognition"  You suggest that the first 3 themes are familiar to scholars
working within the sociocultural framework but the last 3 themes are more
outside their horizon of understanding.  Andy recently mentioned engaging
CHAT with Critical theory around the specific topic of recognition.

I'm wondering how central you see the theme of "desire &recognition" as
being to our fundamental human nature that must be theorized within all
models of development.  Your article points to the COSTS of schooling as
"students" acquire the dispositions to slice the world into parts as
"analysis" comes to colonize how modernity incorporates lived direct
experience into cognitive formations that are DERIVATIVE.  You also mention
that most of "us" on this listserve accept the costs as the price of
admission into our communities of practice.  We have developed skill and
facility with dicing and slicing and living within derivative cognitive
spaces as "students", "professors", "therapists", and other successful
members of  educationally oriented institutions.

I also wonder how Luria and Vygotsky viewed "desire & recognition" as Luria
was interested in psychoanalysis.

Martin, you mentioned six key themes grounding sociocultural models and this
framework seems to hold promise for teasing out the dialectic between the
first 3 themes [widely shared within sociocultural oriented communities] and
the last 3 themes [recognition, being fundamentally split, & resulting
search for identity]

Going back to my fist paragraph, how is "desire & recognition"
conceptualized as emerging and developing within biocultural niches within
Vygotsky, Luria, and others??  With Andy, I sense this is a central topic
for helping us understand how we OUGHT to proceed.


PS  Mike,  I believe Merleau-Ponty may have something to add on "desire &
recognition" when we discuss his ideas on phenomenology as a form of
reflection that does not slice and dice in analysis. [analysis as one
powerful and legitimate FORM of consciousness BUT with costs]

Can authors such as Merleau-Ponty help pay more attention to the
inevitable cost to become members of our communities of participation and to
the cost of our institutional formations.  The Felder article in the latest
issue of "Theory & Psychology" was well written as Felder attempts to ground
the practice of psychotherapy  in Merleau-Ponty's theoretical perspective. 
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