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Re: [xmca] Soft Power and Collective Sense Making
On 17 May 2013 16:21, Christine Schweighart <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Hi Huw,
> Where does your distinction :
> "the sign manifests and moves as part of the learning dynamic
> (tool & symbol, Luria & Vygotsky) whereas in Activity Theoretic approaches
> the "social development" is a more overt designed process"
> come into play in David's article?
Quoting David, "Post-Vygotskian theorists have long wrestled with the
apparent opposition between an emphasis on the sign-mediated nature of
collective meaning making associated with sociocultural analyses and a
focus on object-oriented activity and practical action in
Perhaps the "apparent opposition" is overly foregrounded, here.
Contrasting studies of object-oriented activity and studies of changing
work relations (i.e. change workshops), the meaningful objects of concern
are referred to from a different temporal perspectives. Wherein the change
workshops may attend to the institutionalised manner of conducting the work.
The manifestation of "positions" presents a means of appraising the
movement in meaning in an engaged form. In these particular examples, in
which the authority of the lead teachers is not presented in a closed,
hierarchical fashion both the manner of conducting the work and the content
of the work are responsive to the situation.
The positions adopted address aspects of the content and the manner of
conducting the work. But in order for the this dialogic encounter to be
the actual site of the work (planning, negotiation, resolution of task
complexity), these gambits need to be appreciated by all concerned as not
infringing upon their valuation of the content (the planning) -- otherwise
the meeting becomes a formality of presenting planning which is done
elsewhere. The positioning achieves a historical movement, in
consideration of all these factors, by which a firmer plan may be reached.
This is simply my interpretation of the paper.
> David exposes the reader to many topical notions that have interested him
> through his social relationships forming working at Bath, which you read
> and refer to as 'stepping stones' this appealing metaphor might also be
> used for an amalgam of notions, how can we consider its contribution as
> useful 'theoretically'?
> My knowledge is limited, criteria that would seem to be candidates would
> arise from principles of 'genetic method' and activity theoretic thinking
> on motive ( brought into the paper) and genetic method.
> Firstly, the research observation/participation seems to have been carried
> out before any intention of deriving the analysis in the paper. So we have
> a posterior sense-making , and the object seems to be to synthesis a
> theoretical amalgam into 'system'. Does this research value correspond to
> depth of 'knowing' through practice of pursuing 'genetic method'? ( where
> concept formation is achieved and thereby revealed through participation of
> an intervention approach? ). How would this have been framed in a bid for
> research funding?
> Secondly, is there a contribution from Bernstein ( I take it this is what
> you look for from 'Harry's voice) that makes a contribution to 'genetic
> method' that provides it with a 'missing' aspect - and that David's paper
> develops discussion of this. Although this appears to be 'filtered' by
> refeence through the 'post-Vygotskian' - I'm not sure where this comes
> from , it may be that H. Daniels draws on Wertsch for this term and to
> Harry it means: '
> Returning to the post-Vygotskian notion of "motives" in activities
> (Wertsch, 1985), school effectiveness research tacitly assumes that all
> schools share the same "motive".
> [ Though this does not show an understanding of 'common -universal for '
> motive' as , say, Ilyenkov would theorise it]
> (From his 1987 thesis - available through Ethos at the British Library free
> to UK residents , I attach a couple of excerpts for those that are not UK
> residents as an aide). If then 'motive' as a contribution of activity
> theoretical work after Vygotsky is useful, then how does Bernstein's logic
> sit with study of motive in a genetic form, where 'motive' can't be studied
> separate to what is produced ?
> It seems to me that 'interaction' is not distinguished ( in David's paper
> or made clear in H. Daniels' work) carrying 'motive' in an
> activity-theoretic sense.It seems to me important to consider this, much of
> British Philosophy has an undercurrent of 'logical types' and this seems
> relevant here - it seems to come 'through the back door' in Bernstein's
> argument for codification ( for this i have extracted H. Daniel's
> explanation of Bernstein's,where he was being supervised in part by
> Bernstein, from his thesis as it is presented in depth there - attached in
> lieu of 'Harry's voice')
> Which then seems to be a basis of Bernstein to use a dualistic separation
> of 'levels' of individuals interacting' and societal.
> As a seperate comment , and going back to Martin's comment on 'soft ' power
> , this was also confusing. 'Soft' as a designation in 'soft systems'
> doesn't mean 'informal' which is an everyday notion that appears to be
> popular. It's meaning is 'interpretive' , that 'system' is an abstraction -
> a phenomenological research stance argued to be recognised through
> Husserl's work, with the relation of real and abstraction as under
> scrutiny, as problematic. I can't follow the use here of two categories of
> 'power' as in a universal abstraction - but seemingly posited as two
> logical types - though I haven't read the source work to grasp their
> Anyway, David's work in his paper throws these questions up, thanks David
> - and hope your new post is very fruitful for you.
> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 5:43 PM, Huw Lloyd <email@example.com
> > On 13 May 2013 15:46, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > > Everything is related to everything else, Larry. Still, if we simply
> > engage
> > > in Vygotskian chaining, it makes more effective concept development a
> > > little iffy. :-)
> > >
> > > I think your question is related to Martin's regarding power and
> > > positive/negative
> > > effects. I found David ES who is cc'ed on this note. Like more than a
> > > of us,
> > > this is a busy time of year for him, but he has been on xmca before and
> > > hopefully
> > > will join the conversation. If we are lucky we might get Harry to
> > > participate as well -- as I said, the discussion of Bernstein is
> > important,
> > > and, I might add, of Hasan and Halliday as well. But first, Spicer
> > >
> > Yes, it would be good to get Harry's voice too. For me, David's article
> > presents some stepping stones (the "positioning") between the
> > institutionalised implicit mediation that Harry references (Daniels,
> > and the materialised forms of mediation that Wertsch has typically
> > upon.
> > Regarding the sign-activity divergence. My interpretation (which the
> > article does not point to) is of the divergence in conceptualisation of
> > development according to sociocultural and Activity-Theoretic
> > orientations. As I understand it, In the conventional _developmental_
> > understanding the sign manifests and moves as part of the learning
> > (tool & symbol, Luria & Vygotsky) whereas in Activity Theoretic
> > the "social development" is a more overt designed process. In this
> > I interpret the object-oriented and semiotic aspects as being the other
> > around... because the Activity-Theoretic (i.e. Engestrom's approach) is
> > focused on the object-oriented activity, rather it is focused on social
> > reflections. The use of "semiotic" here is rather ambiguous for me, I am
> > inferring it to mean the symbolic form that is manifest and derived from
> > the social work or praxis (Ratner, 1997, p. 103; Daniels et al, 2010, p.
> > 106).
> > Huw
> > http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1934/tool-symbol.htm
> > Daniels, H. (2010). Mediation in the Development of Interagency Work. In
> > Daniels, A. Edwards, Y.
> > Engestrom, T. Gallagher, & S. R. Ludvigsen (Eds.), Activity Theory in
> > Practice: Promoting Learning Across Boundaries and Agencies (pp.
> > Routledge.
> > Ratner, C. (1997). *Cultural Psychology and Qualitative Methodology:
> > Theoretical and Empirical Considerations* (p. 262). Springer.
> > > g'day!
> > > mike
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