Mind, Culture, and Activity: Seminal Papers from the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition

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This volume brings together articles from the Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition that are important benchmarks in the recent history of research and theory on the cultural and contextual foundations of human development. The central theme of this discussion can be posed as a question: How shall we develop a psychology that takes as its starting point the actions of people participating in routine, culturally organized activities? The discussion is structured through a set of overarching themes of importance to psychologists and other social scientists: the nature of context; experiments as contexts; culture-historical theories of culture, context, and development; the analysis of classroom settings as a socially important context of development; the psychological analysis of activity in situ; and questions of power and discourse. This book will appeal to social scientists interested in a cultural approach to cognition, development, and education.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I strongly recommend it for those geoophysicists interpreting the geologic signals in magnetic anomaly field data and for tohers who might wish a torough tutorial on rock magnetism." ua Patrick T. Taylor, The Leading Edge

"Fundamental questions about all of psychology are addressed in the book, and hence, it indeed makes an important contribution to psychology as a general science." Jaan Valsiner, Contemporary Psychology

"Mind, Culture, and Activity is a collection of engaging articles from the Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition. If you consider yourself a cognitive anthropologist, this collection is for you. Mind, Culture, and Acitivity is an engaging set of articles, easy reading, and well worth the time spent reading them." Jack H. Prost, American Anthropologist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521552387
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Pages: 518
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1 Introduction 1
2 When is a context? Some issues and methods in the analysis of social competence 22
3 Plying frames can be dangerous: Some reflections on methodology in cognitive anthropology 32
4 Concepts of ecological validity: Their differing implications for comparative cognitive research 49
5 What's special about experiments as contexts for thinking 57
6 Sociolinguistic structure of word lists and ethnic-group differences in categorized recall 70
7 Looking for Big Bird: Studies of memory in very young children 79
8 "Body analogy" and the cognition of rotated figures 90
9 Paradigms and prejudice 100
10 The early history of the Vygotskian school: The relationship between mind and activity 117
11 One developmental line in European Activity Theories 128
12 Activity; consciousness, and communication 147
13 The sound of the violin 164
14 Non-Cartesian artifacts in dwelling activities: Steps towards a semiotic ecology 185
15 The invention of writing and the development of numerical concepts in Sumeria: Some implications for developmental psychology 205
16 Collective memory: Issues from a sociohistorical perspective 226
17 Students' interactional competence in the classroom 235
18 The competence/incompetence paradox in the education of minority culture children 241
19 The organization of bilingual lessons: Implications for schooling 254
20 Kanji help readers of Japanese infer the meaning of unfamiliar words 269
21 Functional environments for microcomputers in education 279
22 "But it's important data!" Making the demands of a cognitive experiment meet the educational imperatives of the classroom 292
23 Performance before competence: Assistance to child discourse in the zone of proximal development 303
24 Low-income children's preschool literacy experiences: Some naturalistic observations 313
25 Selling candy: A study of cognition in context 330
26 Mediation and automatization 338
27 Mind in action: A functional approach to thinking 354
28 Coordination, cooperation, and communication in the courts: Expansive transitions in legal work 369
29 The politics of representation 389
30 Wisdom from the periphery: Talk, thought, and politics in the ethnographic theater of John Millington Synge 409
31 Learning to be deaf: Conflicts between Hearing and Deaf cultures 418
32 Why must might be right? Observations on sexual herrschaft 432
33 Just say no: Responsibility and resistance 473
Author Index 485
Subject Index 490
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