Cultural-historical psychology

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Cultural-historical psychology is a branch of psychological theory and practice associated with Lev Vygotsky and Alexander Luria and their Circle, who initiated it in the mid-1920s-1930s.[1] The phrase "Cultural-historical psychology" never occurs in the writings of Vygotsky, and was subsequently ascribed to him by his critics and followers alike, yet it is under this title that this intellectual movement is widely known now.[2] The main goal of Vygotsky-Luria project was the establishment of a "new psychology" that would account for the inseparable unity of mind, brain and culture[3] in their development (and/or degradation) in concrete socio-historical settings (in case of individuals) and throughout the history of humankind as socio-biological species.

The larger project of new psychology of Vygotsky and Luria failed,[4] and no universal integrative theory of human mind and development was built by the time of Vygotsky's death in 1934 or, for that matter, ever after. However, the earlier intellectual effort and the legacy of the Soviet scholars of the 1920s-1930s was not entirely wasted and later developed in a range of special—typically, loosely related—fields of psychological theory and practice such as cultural[5][6] and child psychology[7] and education (most notably, in the subfields of dynamic assessment[8] and the so-called developmental education[9]), neuropsychology,[10][11] or psycholinguistics.[12] Other notable areas of theory and practice that are in the dialogue with the cultural-historical tradition of Vygotsky and Luria are psychotherapy,[13] theory of art,[14] "dialogical science",[15] cognitive science,[16] semiotics[17] and, in the words of Oliver Sacks, somewhat vague perspective, mindset and philosophy of "romantic science".[18]

The major influences on cultural-historical psychology were the mechanist neurophysiology of Ivan Pavlov and Vladimir Bekhterev (during the so-called "instrumental period" of the 1920s),[19] philosophy of language and culture of Wilhelm von Humboldt and his followers,[20] socio-economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and, primarily, holistic German-American Gestalt psychology—specifically, the works of Max Wertheimer and Kurt Lewin.[21][22] The holism of the German-American Gestaltists gradually became the dominant theoretical framework of cultural-historical psychology of Vygotsky and Luria in the 1930s and virtually totally eradicated Vygotsky's physiological mechanism and reductionism of the 1920s.[23]

A few of these earlier influences were subsequently downplayed, misunderstood or even totally ignored and forgotten. Thus, cultural-historical psychology as Vygotsky-Luria project, originally intended by its creators as an integrative and, later, holistic "new psychology" of socio-biological and cultural development should not be confused with later self-proclaimed "Vygotskian" theories and fields of studies, ignorant of the historical roots and the intended breadth and depth of the original proposal and its consistent emphasis on the need in a new theory of consciousness.[23] These include such as sociocultural psychology, socio-historical psychology, activity theory, cultural psychology, or Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT).[24][25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.) (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  2. ^ Yasnitsky, A., & van der Veer, R. (2014). What is this book and what is it about? In Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.) (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  3. ^ Toomela, A. (2014). There can be no cultural-historical psychology without neuropsychology. And vice versa. A. Yasnitsky, R. van der Veer, & M. Ferrari (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (313 - 349). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  4. ^ Cf.: "He laid out a most ambitious program of unification with an 'historico-cultural' approach as the central feature. Though tuberculosis cut him off at a very early age, Vygotsky left prolific disciples, most notably Luria and A.N. Leont'ev, who founded the Vygotsky school of cognitive psychology, focused on brain damage and on child development. There is a great irony in that history: preaching a comprehensive science, Vygotsky started one more school" (p. 254). Joravsky, D. (1989). Russian psychology: a critical history. Cambridge: Blackwell.
  5. ^ Arievich, I.M. & Stetsenko, A. (2014). The "magic of signs": developmental trajectory of cultural mediation. In Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.). (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge University Press (pp. 217-244)
  6. ^ Subbotsky, E. (2014). Luria and Vygotsky: challenges to current developmental research. In Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.). (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge University Press (pp. 295-312)
  7. ^ Grigorenko, E.L. (2014). Tracing the untraceable: the nature-nurture controversy in cultural-historical psychology. In Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.). (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge University Press (pp. 203-216)
  8. ^ Kozulin, A. (2014). Dynamic assessment in search of its identity in Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.). (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cambridge University Press (pp. 126-147)
  9. ^ Zuckerman, G. (2014). Developmental education. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (177-202). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  10. ^ Akhutina, T. & Shereshevsky, G. (2014). Cultural-historical neuropsychological perspective on learning disability. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (350-377). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  11. ^ Kotik-Friedgut, B. & Ardila, A. (2014). Cultural-historical theory and cultural neuropsychology today. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (378-399). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  12. ^ Werani, A. (2014). A review of inner speech in cultural-historical tradition. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (272-294). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  13. ^ Venger, A. & Morozova, E. (2014). Cultural-historical psychotherapy. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (403-422). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  14. ^ Bulgakowa, O. (2014). From expressive movement to the "basic problem": The Vygotsky-Luria-Eisensteinian theory of art. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (423-448). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  15. ^ Bertau, M.-C. (2014). The need for a dialogical science: Considering the legacy of Russian-Soviet thinking for contemporary approaches in dialogic research. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (449-473). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  16. ^ Falikman, M. (2014). Cognition and its master: New challenges for cognitive science. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (474-487). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  17. ^ Ivanov, Vyach. Vs. (2014). Cultural-historical theory and semiotics. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (488-516). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  18. ^ Sacks, O. (2014). Luria and "Romantic Science". In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (517-528). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  19. ^ Friedrich, J. (2014). Vygotsky's idea of psychological tools. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (47-62). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  20. ^ Bertau, M.-C. (2014). Inner form as a notion migrating from West to East: Acknowledging the Humboldtian tradition in cultural-historical psychology. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (247-271). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  21. ^ Yasnitsky, A. (2012). К истории культурно-исторической гештальтпсихологии: Выготский, Лурия, Коффка, Левин и др. PsyAnima, Dubna Psychological Journal, 5(1), 60-97
  22. ^ Yasnitsky, A. (2012). A History of Cultural-Historical Gestalt Psychology: Vygotsky, Luria, Koffka, Lewin, and others. PsyAnima, Dubna Psychological Journal, 5(1), 98-101
  23. ^ a b Zavershneva, E. (2014). The problem of consciousness in Vygotsky's cultural-historical psychology. In A. Yasnitsky, R. Van der Veer & M. Ferrari (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology (63-97). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  24. ^ Toomela, A. (2000). Activity theory is a dead end for cultural-historical psychology. Culture & Psychology, 6(3), 353-364
  25. ^ Chapters 7. Michael Cole: artefact-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; and 10. The essential commentators in Part II. Vygotsky in America in Miller, R. (2011). Vygotsky in perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

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