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[xmca] Activity and interpsychological aspects of CHAT

Hi Haydi

I'm responding to your concern that activity and the larger macro level is
being overshadowed by the more personal and interpsychological aspects of
CHAT.  I must accept my part in turning the conversations in this direction
as my curiosity does orient more to the interpsychological aspects of
cultural historical theory. Wertsch writing about Leontiev suggests his
focus was on how it is possible to assimilate the "experience of mankind" as
a foundation for building activity theory grounded in Marx's ideas about
subject-object interaction. Wertsch suggests that Leontiev's notion of
activity does extend Vygotsky's focus on the inteprsychological to the macro
account of social interaction. Wertsch acknowledges this extension is
necessary to give a more complete account of cultural historical processes.
However, Wertsch suggests in the move to this macro level Leontiev did not
incorporate many of Vygotsky's insights about interpsychological functioning
and semiotic mediation. In other words Vygotsky did not produce a complete
account of how INTRApsychological and INTERpsychological planes of
functioning are tied to social INSTITUTIONAL factors. This extension to
social institutional processes is required to go beyond microsociological
and interpsychological functioning to become a fullfledged analysis of mind
in society.

Haydi, I wanted to open with Wertsch's comments to acknowledge the
centrality of these macro levels on the formation of mind. However, in my
work and in my personal life I'm pulled to focus more on the
interpsychological explorations of social organization. The notion of
extending the concept of "psychological tools" to the broader notion of
"tool KITS' points to the recognition of multiple genres or "texts" as
various tools to be used in the tool kit to understand social organization.
These tool kits offer a variety of options about what is permissible or
appropriate to include in our accounts and bias our narratives towards
different planes of social organization.  Selecting a particular genre from
the tool kit places CONSTRAINTS on what can be said and how it can be
expressed.  From a cultural historical perspective the particular genre
chosen is itself open for exploration and critique.
The issue of these genres or texts and how they are chosen or selected as
mediational means is itself an object for analysis within CHAT. Also these
various tools in the tool kit are themselves constantly evolving and
interacting. Activity theory at the macro level is influenced by
explorations of texts written with an interpsychological focus.  Vladimir
Zinchenko is exploring phenomena at the microstructural and microgenetic
level where perception and action are related below the level of awareness
outside accessibility to introspection. But he suggests these microgenetic
processes follow phases, stages, of genetic development.  This is at a level
of the intrapsychological.
My mentioning "active experience" was at the interpsychological level of
analysis.  Active experience contrasted with "habits" in Dewey's language of
social organization. Active experience is when RUPTURES occur in the
habitual ways of responding within interpsychological socially organized
spaces.  How we account for these ruptures depends on the tools in our tool
kit that we use as explanations and interpretations and justifications.
Different tools lead to different accounts.
The question of how we come to share collective memories of shared
experiences at the interpsychological and activity levels BUT also how we
incorporate "active experience" as RUPTURING experiences of collective
memory is also requiring consideration.

Haydi. as Andy mentioned, I'm one of those hesitant to express my opinions
at the political level. My positions on social justice tool kits [genres]
such as discussions of "dominant" and "nondominant" genres is tentative. The
book Vygotsky in the 21st Century suggests the authors in that book are
taking an "outlier" position on CHAT genres. They are exploring the
interpsychological genres of CHAT.  They are engaging with themes of
dominant and nondominant genres and the constraints imposed by various tools
in the tool kit. I think my exploring "alterity" is exploring similar themes
and has its own biases, constraints, and blind spots.
Haydi, your thoughts have made me reflective on the larger issues I may be
neglecting in my exploring the interpsychological.

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