Motives, emotion, and change



Understanding the societal formation of motives was central to an overall thesis of the cultural historical formation of mind. In the cultural historical phase of L. S. Vygotsky's writing he strove to understand the development of psychological functioning in relation to the situation in which that development was taking place. A weak point in this work has been with respect to the way in which specific institutions mediate societal motives, how they stand between society and the person. This paper will explore some of the personal motivational implications of the process of moving from one institutional situation to another. It will discuss the ways in which institutions recontextualise societal motives and thus mediate an individual's engagement with the social world. It is also argued that when processes of institutional recontextualisation are understood alongside non dualist accounts of functioning then perhaps we will understand more about the personal challenges of moving from one situation to another.

General Information

Keywords: motive, emotion, institution, recontextualisation, B. Bernstein, L. S. Vygotsky

Journal rubric: Problems of Cultural-Historical and Activity Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Daniels H. Motives, emotion, and change. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2010. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 24–33. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Baerentsen K. B. and Trettvik J. An activity theory approach to affordance NordiCHI, 2002.
  2. Beach K. Activity as a mediator of sociocultural change and individual development: The case of school work transition in Nepal. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 2, 1995.
  3. Beach K. Consequential transitions: a sociocultural expedition beyond transfer in education, Review of Research in Education, 24, 1999.
  4. Bernstein B. The Structuring of Pedagogic Discourse Volume IV: Class, Codes and Control. London, 1990.
  5. Bernstein B. Foreword in H. Daniels (ed.) Charting the agenda: Educational activity after L. S. Vygotsky, London, 1993.
  6. Bernstein B. Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity: Theory, research and Critique, London, 1996.
  7. Bernstein B. «Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique (revised edition)». Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc, 2000.
  8. Bredo E. Reconstructing educational psychology: Situated cognition and Deweyian pragmatism. Educational Psychologist, 29 (1), 1994.
  9. Boaler J. Participation, knowledge and beliefs: a community perspective on mathematics learning educational studies in mathematics 40, 1999.
  10. Bowers J. S. Conducting developmental research in a technology enhanced classroom (Doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1996). Dissertation Abstracts International, 57, 3433A, 1996.
  11. Clancey W. J. A tutorial on situated learning. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers and Education (Taiwan) Self J. (Ed.) Charlottesville, VA: AACE. 1995.
  12. Cole M. Cultural Psychology: A once and future discipline, Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press. 1996.
  13. Cole M. Using new information technologies in the creation of sustainable after school literacy activities: from intervention to maximising the potential. Third year report: July 1996 — July 1997, Submitted to Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. San Diego: LCHC. 1997.
  14. Elkonin D. B. Toward the Problem of Stages in the Mental Development of the Child, Soviet Psychology, № 4, 1972.
  15. Engestrom Y. Learning by Expanding, Helsinki: OrientaKonsultit Oy. 1987.
  16. Engestrom Y. Innovative learning in work teams: analysing cycles of knowledge creation in practice, in Y. Engestrom et al (Eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, 1999.
  17. Engestrom Y. New forms of learning in coconfigura tion work. Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 16 (1/2), 2004.
  18. Engestrom Y. The future of activity theory: A rough draft. In A. Sannino, H. Daniels & K. D. Guttierez (eds.), Learning and expanding with activity theory (pp. 303—328). Cambridge, 2009.
  19. Engestrom Y. & Miettinen R. Introduction. In Y. Engestrom, R. Miettinen and R.L. Punamaki (Eds.), Perspectives on activity theory. Cambridge, 1999.
  20. Gibson J. J. The ecological approach to visual perception. Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1986.
  21. Giddens A. Positivism and Sociology. London, 1974.
  22. Giddens A. The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Berkeley, 1984.
  23. Giddens A. A reply to my critics. In D. Held & J. B. Thompson (eds.). Social theory of modern societies: Anthony Giddens and his critics. New York, 1989.
  24. Glassman M. Understanding Vygotsky's Motive and Goal: an Exploration of the Work of A. N. Leontiev, Human Development, 1996.
  25. Gonzalez-Rey F. (2002) L. S. Vygotsky and the Question of Personality in the CulturalHistorical Approach, in D. Robbins and A. Stetsenko (eds.) Voices Within Vygotsky's NonClassical Psychology: Past, Present, Future. New York, 2002.
  26. Greeno J. G. On claims that answer the wrong questions, Educational Researcher, 26 (1), 1997.
  27. Greeno J. Authoritative, accountable positioning and connected general knowing; progressive themes in understanding transfer. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15 (4), 2006.
  28. Griffin P. and Cole M. Current activity for the future: The Zoped. In B. Rogoff & J. V. Wertsch (eds.). Children's learning in the zone of proximal development: New directions for child development. San Francisco, 1984.
  29. Hakkarainen P. Editor's Introduction: Challenges of Activity Theory Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, vol. 42, no. 2, 2004.
  30. Hegel G. W. F. The phenomenology of spirit (A. V. Miller, Trans). Oxford, UK, 1977. (Original work published 1807)
  31. Heidegger M. Being and Time. Oxford, 1978.
  32. Jayyusi L. Categorization and the Moral Order. London, 1984.
  33. Kozulin A. Psychological Tools. A sociocultural approach to education. London, 1998.
  34. Lave J. Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics and culture in everyday life. Cambridge, England, 1988.
  35. Lave J. «Situating Learning in Communities of Practice», in L. B. Resnick, J. M. Levine, and S. D. Teasley (eds.), Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition, Washington, D.C., 1991.
  36. Lave J., Murtaugh M. and O. de la Rocha «The Dialectic of Arithmetic in Grocery Shopping», in B. Rogoff and J. Lave (eds.), Everyday Cognition: Development in Social Context. Cambridge, 1984.
  37. Lave J. and Wenger E. Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, 1991.
  38. Lemke J. Cognition, context, and learning: a social semiotic perspective, in D. Kirshner (ed.) Situated Cognition Theory: Social, Neurological, and Semiotic Perspectives, New York, 1997.
  39. Leontiev A. N. Activity, consciousness and personality (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall). 1978.
  40. Leontiev A. N. The Concept of Activity in Psychology, in J. V. Wertsch (ed.). The concept of activity in Soviet psychology, Armonk. NY, 1981.
  41. Lompscher J. Motivation and activity. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 14, 1999.
  42. Lompscher J. Motivation and Activity [Free full-text] 
  43. Makitalo A. and Saljo R. Talk in institutional context and institutional context in talk: categories as situated practices. Text 22 (1), 2002.
  44. Minick N. «The Development of Vygotsky's thought: an introduction», in R. W. Rieber and A. S. Carton (eds,) The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky, 1. New York, 1987.
  45. Minick N., Stone C. A., Forman E. A. Introduction: Integration of individual, social and institutional processes in accounts of children's learning and development in E. A. Forman, N. Minick, and C. A. Stone (eds) Contexts for learning: sociocultural dynamics in children's development. Oxford, 1993.
  46. Nicolopoulou A. and Cole M. «Generation and Transmission of Shared Knowledge in the Culture of Collaborative Learning: The Fifth Dimension, its PlayWorld, and its Institutional Contexts», in E. A. Forman, N. Minick and C. Addison Stone (eds.) Contexts for Learning.
    Sociocultural Dynamics in Children's Development. New York, 1993.
  47. Ratner C. Prologue in R. W. Rieber (ed.) The Collected Works of L. S. Vygotsky: Volume 5, Child Psychology. New York, 1998.
  48. Roth W. M. Heeding the unit of analysis Mind, Culture and Activity Vol. 14, № 3, 2007.
  49. Rueda R. and Mehan H. «Metacognition and passing: Strategic interactions in the lives of students with learning disabilities» in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 1986.
  50. Sacks H. Lectures on Conversation. Oxford, 1992.
  51. Sawyer K. Unresolved Tensions in Sociocultural Theory: Analogies with Contemporary Sociological Debates. Culture & Psychology, Vol. 8 (3), 2002.
  52. Scribner S. Vygotsky's uses of history. In J. V. Wertsch (Ed.). Culture, communication, and cognition: Vygotskian perspectives. Cambridge, England, 1985.
  53. Scribner S. and Cole M. The Psychology of Literacy. Cambridge, MA, 1981.
  54. Stetsenko A. & Arievitch I. The self in culturalhistorical activity theory: Reclaiming the unity of social and individual dimensions of human development. Theory & Psychology, 14, 2003.
  55. Suchman L. A. Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of HumanMachine Communication. New York, 1987.
  56. Van der Veer R. The idea of units of analysis: Vygotsky's contribution. S. Chaiklin (ed) The theory and practice of culturalhistorical psychology. Arrhus, 2001.
  57. Vasilyuk F. The psychology of experiencing: The resolution of life's critical situations (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester). 1991.
  58. Vygotsky L. S. Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. M. Cole, V. John Steiner, S. Scribner and E. Souberman, (eds. and trans.). USA, 1978.
  59. Vygotsky L. S. The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky: Problems of general psychology. (Vol.1). New York: 1987. (Original work 1933—1934).
  60. Vygotsky L. S. The socialist alteration of man. In The Vygotsky reader (Oxford, Basil Blackwell) 1994. (Original work 1930).
  61. Vygotsky L. S. The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky: Child psychology (Vol. 5). New York, 1998. (Original work 1928-1931).
  62. Yaroshevsky M. Lev Vygotsky. Moscow, 1989.

Information About the Authors

Harry Daniels, PhD, Professor, Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Education, Oxford, Great Britain, e-mail:



Total: 3008
Previous month: 10
Current month: 5


Total: 1050
Previous month: 1
Current month: 0