Vygotsky in Perspective

Vygotsky in Perspective

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Lev Vygotsky has acquired the status of one of the grand masters in psychology. Following the English translation and publication of his Collected Works there has been a new wave of interest in Vygotsky, accompanied by a burgeoning of secondary literature. Ronald Miller argues that Vygotsky is increasingly being 'read' and understood through secondary sources and that scholars have claimed Vygotsky as the foundational figure for their own theories, eliminating his most distinctive contributions and distorting his theories. Miller peels away the accumulated layers of commentary to provide a clearer understanding of how Vygotsky built and developed his arguments. In an in-depth analysis of the last three chapters of Vygotsky's book Thinking and Speech, Miller provides a critical interpretation of the core theoretical concepts that constitute Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory, including the development of concepts, mediation, the zone of proximal development, conscious awareness, inner speech, word meaning and consciousness.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 466 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139065661
  • 9781139065665

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. A thematic overview; Part I. Vygotsky at Home: 3. The development of concepts; 4. The development of scientific concepts; 5. The development of scientific concepts: critique; 6. Thought and word; Part II. Vygotsky in America: 7. Michael Cole: artifact mediated action - setting the record straight; 8. James V. Wertsch: cultural tools and mediated action - getting it wrong; 9. James V. Wertsch: mediation and the zone of proximal development; 10. The essential commentators; Part III. Vygotsky over the Rainbow: 11. Vygotsky: mediation.
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Review quote

'You do not need to agree with all Miller's claims and criticisms in order to appreciate his deep understanding of Vygotsky's original texts. Vygotsky in Perspective is required reading for everyone interested in Vygotsky's theory of consciousness.' Alex Kozulin, International Institute for the Enhancement of Learning Potential 'A deeply argumentative tour-de-force through our contemporary interpretations of Vygotsky's ideas. Miller's is a powerful contrarian voice in the efforts to clarify how the human mind operates through the social world. Hopefully the book will trigger new interest among young scholars to solve complex theoretical issues in the social sciences that both Vygotsky and Miller have attempted to accomplish.' Jaan Valsiner, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 'Miller's critique is polemic but fair, sharp and entertaining. His message is that we should go back to a painstaking analysis of Vygotsky's writings and not just use his name to make our own ideas more fashionable. His detailed critique of several of the most vocal interpreters of Vygotsky's ideas will hopefully set the stage for a much-needed debate.' Rene van der Veer, Leiden University '... there is no denying the perspicacious powers evident throughout Miller's tour de force ...' Ronald A. Goodrich, Philosophical Psychology
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