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Becoming Other

From Social Interaction to Self-Reflection


Edited by:
Alex Gillespie, University of Stirling

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A volume in the series: Advances in Cultural Psychology: Constructing Human Development. Editor(s): Jaan Valsiner, Clark University.

Published 2006

The research reported in this book is unapologetically Meadian. While the work of George Herbert Mead has been of widespread significance, and his name is often cited, there are in fact few empirical studies that have sought to rigorously instantiate his ideas. This is in part because his theory is abstruse and in part because there have been so many divergent interpretations of his theory. The point of departure for the present research is a novel interpretation of Mead. Mead’s core problematic, I argue, is how to explain self-reflection, and his answer to this is the theory of the social act. The present research is an attempt to instantiate this reading.

This book puts to rest any glorification of postmodernist belief in the local nature of knowledge and context specificity of human cultural acts as a part of the image of fragmented human lives. Human beings are differentiated and hierarchically integrated wholes who regulate their own organization by cultural means. This conceptual deathblow to postmodernist ideologies is done here without denying the reality of context specificity. In fact, all the evidence in this book shows that each and every moment in the touring act is context bound, and hence unique. Yet there is generality operating upon—and creating—that uniqueness. The author’s careful development of theoretical insights George Herbert Mead reached in his self-dialogues almost a century ago is a new step in the development of cultural psychology as a Wissenschaft aiming at making sense of the human conditions in its generic ways. This itself is an exploring act—one that the social sciences need very much at our present time of abundance of fragmented bits and pieces of information about “the others” that lead us to search for our own unified selves through invention of new ways for touring.

REVIEWS
"[This] book offers us an important way to think about self-reflection as embedded in social interaction – a theory that can more fully account for the way in which we suddenly step out of ourselves and into the position of the other." Seamus Mulryan in Education Review (Read full review)

CONTENTS
Preface. Editor’s Introduction: The Social Act of the Social Sciences: Touring the Minds of Recreational Nomads, Jaan Valsiner. Transcription Conventions. The Social Act. Elaborations and Questions. Tourism in Ladakh. The Touring Act. Listening to Tourists. Listening to Ladakhis. First Analysis: Genealogy. Tourist Self and Ladakhi Other. Ladakhi Self and Tourist Other. Second Analysis: Becoming Other. Internal Dialogues. Self-Reflection. Becoming Other to Oneself. References.



RELATED CATEGORIES
> Cultural Psychology



MORE TITLES IN THIS SERIES
Arguing and knowing: A Developmental Approach (In Development)

Otherness in Question: Development of the Self

Transitions: Symbolic Resources in Development

Semiotic Rotations: Modes of Meanings in Cultural Worlds

Discovering Cultural Psychology: A Profile and Selected Readings of Ernest E. Boesch

Trust and Distrust: Sociocultural perspectives

Innovating Genesis: Microgenesis and the Constructive Mind in Action

Rethinking Language, Mind, and World Dialogically

Relating to Environments: A New Look at Umwelt

Living in Poverty: Developmental Poetics of Cultural Realities

Methodological Thinking in Psychology: 60 Years Gone Astray?

Constructing Patriotism: Teaching History and Memories in Global Worlds

Apprentice in a Changing Trade

Cultural Psychology and Psychoanalysis: Pathways to Synthesis

Cultural Dynamics of Women's Lives

Researcher Race: Social Constructions in the Research Process

Culture and Social Change: Transforming Society through the Power of Ideas

Cultural Psychology of Human Values

Dialogic Formations: Investigations into the Origins and Development of the Dialogical Self

Interplays Between Dialogical Learning and Dialogical Self

Cross-Cultural Psychology: Why Culture Matters

Crossing Boundaries: Intercontextual Dynamics Between Family And School

Lives And Relationships: Culture in Transitions Between Social Roles

Dialogical Approaches to Trust in Communication

Fooling Around: Creative Learning Pathways

Culture and Political Psychology: A Societal Perspective




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