Critical Reflection on the Reception of Vygotsky’s Theory in the International Academic Communities



This paper is an attempt to analyze various types of the reception of Vygotsky’s theory in the international academic communities. The paper develops a critical analysis of three widespread theoretical frameworks of interpretation of Vygotsky’s theory: cognitivism, culturalism, cultural-historical activity theory. It is argues that fragmented readings of particular ideas of Vygotsky, without enough understanding of the theoretical programme in which these ideas have been included dominates in North-Atlantic research. The paper proposes the reconstruction of the theoretical programme of cultural-historical psychology in the social and scientific context of its formation.

General Information

Keywords: Vygotsky, cultural-historical theory, cognitivism, cultural relativism, CHAT, archival revolution

Journal rubric: Problems of Cultural-Historical and Activity Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Dafermos M. Critical Reflection on the Reception of Vygotsky’s Theory in the International Academic Communities. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2016. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 27–46. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2016120303.


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Information About the Authors

Manolis Dafermos, PhD in Philosophy, Professor of Epistemology of Psychology, Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece, ORCID:, e-mail:



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