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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR

 

Vygotsky: Between Socio-Cultural Relativismand Historical Materialism. From a Psychologicalto a Pedagogical Perspective 33

Daniels H., Ph.D., Dept of Education, University of Oxford, Bath, Great Britain , H.R.J.Daniels@bath.ac.uk
Abstract
In this paper I draw a distinction between two strands of argument that have evolved in the wake of Vygotsky’s early 20th century writing. I examine key methodological differences between sociocultural relativism and historical materialism. I then consider the pedagogical implications of these differences. My concern is that the all too common western predeliction for a post modern account yields a deeply conservative approach to pedagogy. In this form pedagogy may loose its power as a tool of social transformation and may curtail the possibilities for individual transformation. I close with a quote which neatly captures this concern: “Methodology is not a "toolbox" of different methods from which the researcher selects some on the basis of personal or social preferences! Instead, it is an integrated structure of the epistemological process (Branco & Valsiner, 1997) that can equally and easily reveal and obscure the empirical reality in the knowledge construction process of social scientists”.

Keywords: Vygotsky, Davydov, relativism, materialism, pedagogy

Column: Jointneess and Creativity

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp.2018140304

A Part of Article

It is possible to point to differences in epistemological and ontological assumptions which serve to create significant divides in the post-Vygotskian field. Their existence is not always made clear and yet they carry with them such important implications for research and the development of theory.

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