Mind as Action
Wertsch argues against reductionist accounts of human cognition and proposes a sociocultural perspective, which moves beyond the isolated individual. He suggests that "mediated action" and cultural tools shape cognitive processes and can explain how they are organized.
- Hardback | 216 pages
- 160 x 238 x 22mm | 458.13g
- 08 Jan 1998
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
'This is a fascinating book and highly stimulating to read...a challenging book...this intriguing book should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the relationship between mind and sociocultural setting.' * Professor Martyn Barrett, Dept of Psychology, University of Surrey, for The Psychologist * '...With his usual clear prose and effective balance of theory and experimental evidence, Wertsch argues that neither social nor biological reductionism is the proper methodological stance...Wetsch nicely shows how many school failures result from mismatches in speech genre between the child and the school.' * William J Frawley, Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of Delaware. *
About James V. Wertsch
James V. Wertsch is Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Table of contents
1. The task of sociocultural analysis ; Translation at the crossroads ; Multiple perspectives on human action ; Methodological individualism in the copyright age ; 2. Properties of mediated action ; Mediated action is characterized by an irreducible tension between agent and mediational means ; Mediational means are material ; Mediated action typically has multiple simultaneous goals ; Mediated action is situated in one orf more developmental paths ; Mediational means constrain as well as enable action ; New mediational means transform mediated action ; The relationship of agents toward mediational means can be characterized in terms of mastery: Internalization as mastery ; The relationship of agents toard mediational means can be characterized in terms of appropriation: Internalization as appropriation ; Mediational means are often produced for reasons other than to facilitate mediated action ; Mediational means are associated with power and authority ; Narrative as a cultural tool for representing the past ; Representing the past: Cultural tools and their uses ; Historical texts as cultural tools ; Mastering texts about the origins of the U.S.: Knowing too little ; Mastering texts about the origins of the U.S.: Knowing too much ; Events ; Theme ; The construction of main characters ; Frequency of mention ; Patterns of agency ; Patterns of presupposed presence ; The irreducible tension between cultural tool and agent in generating historical texts ; The mastery and appropriation of narratives as mediational means for representing the past ; 4. Mediated action in social space ; Intersubjectivity and alterity in social interaction ; Intersubjectivity and laterity in studies of intermental; functioning ; Harnessing intersubjectivity and alterity in instructional discourse ; Reciprocal teaching as an alternative form of instructional discourse ; 5. Appropriation and resistance ; Appropriation and resistance: The official Soviet history of Estonia ; Tactics of consumption and forms of resistance ; Strategies of consumption and forms of resistance: ; Official and unofficial history ; Summary ; Appropriation and resistance: Cultural stereotypes ; The "Microdynamics" of appropriation and resistance ; Stereotype threat and appropriation ; 6. Mind as mediated action: An Epilogue