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Re: [xmca] Current edition of Theory & Psychology

Hi Mike.

Harry has worked with his hybrid in interagency work.

Daniels, H., 2010. Subject position and identity in changing
workplaces. In: Singh, P., Sadovnik, A. and Semel, S., eds. Toolkits,
Translation Devices and Conceptual Accounts: Essays on Basil
Bernstein's Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 103-120.

See page 103.


In the same book, have a look at Gamble's chapter.


Gamble J. 2009b. Knowledge and identity in the mobile workplace. In M.
Weil, L Koski & L. Mjelde (Eds.). Knowing work: the social relations
of working and knowing. Bern: Peter Lang. 51-75.

At least two examples of applications of Bernstein's code theory
outside formal schooling.



On 14 November 2011 02:26, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> This discussion is very helpful for us at LCHC where, you can be sure, the
> issues raised by Arturo are much discussed.
> Our lab meetings are on Tuesdays from 10:30-12:00 PST (California) time.
> For sure we will be discussing this issue this week because two PhD theses
> have linkages to
> more "macro" levels of analysis as constituents.
> We currently experience these matters intensely in all parts of our work.
> Institutionally our University says it wants diversity but has a "business
> model" that makes work such as we do difficult to arrange, difficult to
> sustain. Our University is being rapidly privatized. Our state budget is
> aiming an axe at poor people. We work in subsidized housing. Its ALL there.
> But the logic of our work demands our ongoing, day to day, interaction with
> the people among whom we work over years. So our analyses of the larger
> context to which Arturo quite justifiably points remain mainly in our local
> discussions.
> I have been arguing for some time that this entire line of research
> REQUIRES  inter-institutional collaborations of a high order, of the order
> of a *co-laboratory*. Careful documentation as well as co-constructive
> program development are everywhere, but our flashlight has a narrow beam
> and its kinda dim too.
> Still, there are positive examples.  One that has my attention as an
> example.
> Kris Gutierrez, Bill Penuel, and others at Colorado have a very interesting
> set of activities going and they have actually put a person on their
> team who job it is to collect data at the institutional and
> institutional/socio-political.
> We need the applications of a methodology that genuinely allows us to tract
> interweavings across levels *in addition to *the more micro-levels at which
> we are able to engage with sufficient density of interaction to make
> scholarly publication possible.
> In short, Andy and Arturo, what is to be done? Not a new question in this
> discourse.
> On Sat, Nov 12, 2011 at 9:28 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> On your first point Arturo. I think you make valid points in relation to
>> Yrjo's and Mike's articles. Jaakko Virkkunen tried to go further and
>> introduce a broad consideration of the wider social and historical context,
>> and I found the effort laughable and abandoned reading his article after a
>> few pages. I appreciated the insights in Yrjo's theoretical section, which
>> I shared earlier, but as you say, it is all based on the fact that
>> management has already invited him in as an expert with a brief to
>> facilitate change. Like Steve Gabosch, I have been through a number of
>> these exercises as an employee and the supposed "empowerment" of employees
>> these guys go on about is a charade. I am sure Yrjo is not like any of
>> those I experienced, but my own interest comes from  experiences in
>> organising change in the teeth of opposition from management, and it is
>> very different.
>> On your final paragraph, you refer to some true things, Arturo, but things
>> I take to be the core concerns of CHAT.
>> Andy
>> Arturo Escandon wrote:
>>> Hi Andy.
>>> While I believe Mike et al's paper is outstanding and inspiring, I do
>>> not see an analysis of the macro structures that shape that kind of
>>> intervention.
>>> What I miss from accounts of procedures is a language of description
>>> of the general context in which the intervention or mutual
>>> appropriation is going to be carried out. Again, the "context" is
>>> given almost for granted and assumed to be constant.
>>> When some institution in Finland gives funding to a researcher to get
>>> another organisation sorted out by means of an intervention it is
>>> proof of the kind of research and consultancy culture Finland has
>>> developed over decades. Where does the power to implement the right
>>> intervention come from. It does not come from from the internal
>>> "contradictions" of the activity system but from a culture that is
>>> able to recognise the values of such an implementation, a research
>>> culture embedded in political and social systems that legitimate those
>>> interventions. In other words, a culture that is able to grasp and
>>> solve contradictions creatively before they reach a political
>>> standstill or social crisis. So here you have the researcher taking a
>>> vantage point. Overall, this reminds me of the business consultancy
>>> that is commissioned by top authorities of a given industry. You need
>>> some form of umbrella authority that paves the way to recognising the
>>> intervention as valid (you need a credible authority).
>>> In Mike's case, the power comes from the implicit recognition of
>>> social bankruptcy. That is a case which better resembles many
>>> situations where neoliberalism and public policy have failed big time,
>>> and therefore I see it has the chance to be applied in many more
>>> contexts than the plain intervention depicted in the papers written by
>>> Engestrom and his colleagues. The researcher cannot take a vantage
>>> point but agents are willing to give a try just because everything
>>> else has failed.
>>> I have seen Japanese researchers trying to implement interventions
>>> shaped by the principles given by Yrjo. They fail again and again not
>>> because they do not apply those principles or fail to use the right
>>> unit of analysis but because their mandate is ridiculously limited and
>>> they lack a principle of authority (are you able to change the
>>> educational system or even the culture of one particular school with
>>> one single case study that took months to arrange against all odds,
>>> despite the fierce opposition from agents involved?). In such a
>>> context, intervention is seen as a technical tool or method, not as a
>>> philosophical principle or methodology. Where you can implement mutual
>>> appropriation in Japan? Well in communities in Fukushima that have
>>> witnessed their government's failure in dealing with the nuclear
>>> crisis and no longer trust it.
>>> The issue of the unconscious. I believe the notion of subject in CHAT
>>> is that the subject emerges after taking position by means of an
>>> attempt in appropriating cultural tools: the processs of objectivation
>>> of the subject and subjetivation of the object. But mastery is not
>>> rational. Subjects use words before they know their meaning.
>>> Pseudoconcepts are used before truly concepts are formed. Complete
>>> sets of conceptual systems are mastered before one has a clear idea of
>>> what those systems are for or their affordances. How do we deal with
>>> implicit semiotic mediation in the intervention? The unconscious is
>>> underneath the tension between sense and meaning. The sign ties,
>>> establishes relations, but also produces breaks and disjoints.
>>> Best
>>> Arturo
>>> On 11 November 2011 08:57, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>> That's a very interesting series of points, Arturo!
>>>> Could I just ask you to elaborate a little on what you meant by "the
>>>> unconscious in sign-making" and "the problem of fetishism of the sign."
>>>> I guess that you are right that in almost any social context (the US
>>>> included I suspect), the kind of project that Mike writes about can only
>>>> be
>>>> implemented by surruptitiously moving the goal posts set by the
>>>> recognised
>>>> authorities, by a kind of subversion, making use of openings created by
>>>> manifest social crisis.
>>>> As I'm sure you know, I am in agreement with your critique of the
>>>> failure to
>>>> satisfactorily "marry" psychological concepts with sociological
>>>> concepts, in
>>>> CHAT or anywhere else for that matter. But doesn't the kind of project
>>>> Mike
>>>> is talking about, where goals are immanent in the project itself, and the
>>>> project is thoroughly and explicitly collaborative, go some way to
>>>> addressing this problem?
>>>> Andy
>>>> Arturo Escandon wrote:
>>>>> Just wanted to point out that there are places where you cannot even
>>>>> think of implementing a simple plain standard design experiment, let
>>>>> alone an ad-hoc intervention because educational settings and
>>>>> institutions are thought to be mere knowledge
>>>>> reproduction-distribution centers. Research is the job of the Ministry
>>>>> of Education. "Joint activity"? What on Earth is that in Japan except
>>>>> the illusion of freedom framed under top-down cosmological structure.
>>>>> I am afraid that most of the cases depicted in the journal are a
>>>>> reproduction of the cultural conditions existing in few settings, in
>>>>> few communities, in a handful of countries. Am I able to implement an
>>>>> intervention or mutual appropriation in the Japanese educational
>>>>> context? No. Am I able to do it in "local communities", yes, but under
>>>>> considerable restrictions. However, I am guessing that the most
>>>>> effective interventions in local communities spring from social
>>>>> crisis, not from planned activity, that is, some sort of punctuated
>>>>> equilibrium in which the community changes or perish.
>>>>> I am very curious about (1) how the structural constraints and
>>>>> affordances of organisations themselves shape those mutual
>>>>> appropriations and how we can account for them; (2) how the mediating
>>>>> means themselves are unequally distributed (knowledge differential):
>>>>> in order to bridge the differences established by the lack of a common
>>>>> repertoire of meanings you have to engage in meaning making, creating
>>>>> in fact a new differential; (3) the unconscious in sign-making or
>>>>> using activity. Educational activity brings consciousness at the
>>>>> expense of bringing unconsciousness as well. I have not read a single
>>>>> decisive work addressing the problem of fetishism of the sign, on
>>>>> which a theory of the uncosciousness could be integrated into CHAT,
>>>>> except for works that deal with the problem of "the ideal".
>>>>> Seeger asks the right questions but I believe there is much more out
>>>>> there about ways of marriaging psychology and sociology to give a
>>>>> better account of agency. At the end, the issues raised by Sawyer are
>>>>> still relevant: CHAT keeps operating with a process and methodological
>>>>> ontology whereby the individual and the social are inseparable but
>>>>> does not provide a clear cut language of description of how the social
>>>>> structure shapes activity or, to put it in Seeger's terms, how power
>>>>> shapes discourse (and consciousness and identy).
>>>>> Best
>>>>> Arturo
>>>>> On 10 November 2011 23:41, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>>> The current edition of Theory & Psychology looks very special. I admit
>>>>>> I
>>>>>> have at this stage only actually read the article by Mike Cole, Robert
>>>>>> Lecusay and Deborah Downing-Wilson, but it is a special issue on CHAT
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> interventionist methodology, with articles by a number of people from
>>>>>> Yrjo
>>>>>> Engestrom's CRADLE and also Falk Seeger, who is guest editing the
>>>>>> Special
>>>>>> Issue of MCA on Emotions.
>>>>>> Mike's article elaborates on what the participants call a "mutual
>>>>>> appropriation" approach to developing theory and practice. Instead of
>>>>>> implementing a project design and then modifying it in the light of the
>>>>>> reseacher's experience, the researchers go in to a local community with
>>>>>> very
>>>>>> open ended ideas about how and what they want to achieve, and engage
>>>>>> with
>>>>>> their community partner, learn about their (the partner's) project,
>>>>>> offer
>>>>>> assistance and resources and share knowledge and objectives and ....
>>>>>> mutually appropriate. The article describes the results of a specific
>>>>>> project which is an exemplar of "mutual appropriation" which has grown
>>>>>> out
>>>>>> of the 5thD after-school programs which LCHC began in the 1980s.
>>>>>> The article is actually very moving. I personally think that this kind
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> work is tackling the main problem in front of us cultural-historical
>>>>>> cultural psychology people today. If you don't subscribe to Theory &
>>>>>> Psychology, I don't know how you can get to read the paper. Maybe
>>>>>> someone
>>>>>> has a solution there. But it is a must read. I will read the remaining
>>>>>> articles in the special issue, but this is a real high.
>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>>>>>> ------------
>>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1>
>>>>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>>>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857<http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857>
>>>>>> ______________________________**____________
>>>>>> _____
>>>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/**listinfo/xmca<http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>
>>>> --
>>>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>>>> ------------
>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1>
>>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857<http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857>
>> --
>> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
>> ------------
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/**toc/hmca20/18/1<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1>
>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.**aspx?partid=227&pid=34857<http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857>
>> ______________________________**____________
>> _____
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Arturo J Escandon
Associate Professor
Department of Spanish and Latin-American Studies
Nanzan University
18 Yamazato-cho, Showa-ku
Nagoya, 466-8673 JAPAN

Tel: +81 (52) 832 3111 (extension 3604)
Mobile: +81 (908) 796 4220
E-mail: escandon@nanzan-u.ac.jp
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