Michael Cole as the Mediator and Integrator of Cultural-Historical Psychology



The article describes the ideas and tuning points of M. Cole's career — the famous American psychologist, his theoretical, methodological and empirical contribution to modern psychology. It is composed of three sections. The first one considers Cole—Luria's cooperation for many years: scientific as well as personal interactions in the process of acquiring Cultural-Historical Psychology of Russia. It summarizes the outcomes and methodological problems of interdisciplinary cross-cultural studies that M. Cole and his colleagues conducted in Africa and on the Yucatan Peninsula. The second one outlines M. Cole's important role as an international mediator in Soviet and post-Soviet psychology that revealed both through his own studies and his translations of L.S. Vygotsky and A.R. Luria's works in English or their editing. Plus his occupations with “Soviet psychology” (later — “Journal of Russian and East European Psychology”). The third section briefly evaluates Cole's theoretical efforts on the integration of Vygotsky, Luria and Leontiev's ideas as much as recasting them in the context of modern trends in Cultural psychology. Significant place is given to a context-activity approach developed by M. Cole in Cultural in the framework of integrated "Cultural-Historical Activity theory". The erroneous labeling of the context-activity approach as an anti-historical one is discussed. The authors come to the conclusion that M. Cole's context-activity approach is not far remote from Cultural-Historical Psychology but complements its development with new concepts, methods and points of growth.

General Information

Keywords: Michael Cole, Alexander Luria, cultural-historical psychology, theory of activity, cross-cultural psychological research, cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), context-activity approach

Journal rubric: Memorable Dates

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2018140407

For citation: Meshcheryakov B.G., Ponomare I.V. Michael Cole as the Mediator and Integrator of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2018. Vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 52–63. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2018140407. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Boris G. Meshcheryakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychology, FSGN, State University “Dubna”, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the International Scientific Journal "Cultural-Historical Psychology", Dubna, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6252-2822, e-mail: borlogic1@gmail.com

Ilia V. Ponomare, PhD in History, Senior research fellow, Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies, Institute for African Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8848-3750, e-mail: ilia.ponomarev@gmail.com



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