Russian Psychological Issues
JournalsTopicsAuthorsEditor's Choice For AuthorsAbout PsyJournals.ruContact Us

  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 16, no. 2)

Included in Web of Science СС (ESCI)

Included in Scopus


Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Concrete Psychology and the Activity Clinic Approach: Implications for Interventionist Research in the XXIst Century 61

Kloetzer L.
Assistant Professor in Sociocultural Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Neuchatel University, Neuchatel, Switzerland

This paper discusses the project of concrete psychology, anchored in vital human drama, both for Vygotsky and Politzer, and its methodological implications, especially from within an interventionist, developmental, transformative perspective. How are the concepts of concrete psychology and drama related for Politzer and Vygotsky? How can we push the agenda of concrete psychology foward? What are the methodological implications of a Vygotskian concrete psychology for us today? After discussing both Vygotsky’s and Politzer’s views on concrete human psychology, we will introduce the French tradition of Activity Clinic, and argue that this approach, and its “organized frameworks,” offers the potential to move one step forward in the direction of a concrete human psychology. We will analyze a short sequence of Cross Self Confrontation as a dramatic interaction potentially contributing to development. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of concrete psychology for XXIth century researchers. The paper thus aims at contributing to an urgent need to rethink an epistemology of psychology, which strongly anchors research in practice.

Keywords: activity clinic, concrete psychology, development, drama, methodology, cross self-confrontation

Column: Cultural-Historical Psychology: Traditions and Innovations


A Part of Article

Vygotsky’s writing has increasingly inspired psychology worldwide, ever since the partial translation of his writing into English, beginning in the 1960’s. This worldwide reception provided an important impulse to further developments of the theory, methodology and practice of psychology and education in the long term, all the more as the understanding of this rich heritage outside Russia varied considerably.

For Reference

  1. Cole M., Kobelt E., Packer M. Research Methodology for a Concrete Psychology: The Fifth Dimension Research. Psicología, Conocimiento y Sociedad, 2014. Vol. 4, no. 2, noviembre, pp. 28—61.
  2. Veresov N. Introducing cultural historical theory: main concepts and principles of genetic research methodology. Cultural-historical psychology, 2010, no. 4, pp. 83—90.
  3. Veresov N. Refocusing the lens on development: towards genetic research methodology. Visual Methodologies and Digital Tools for Researching with Young Children (pp. 129—149). Springer International Publishing, 2014.
  4. Brossard M. Vygotski, Lectures et perspectives de recherches en éducation. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion (Text by Vygotsky from 1929, first published in 1986, in A.A. Pouzyrei (Ed), Vestnick Moskowskogo Uniwersiteta, Psychologija, Serija 14, 11), 2004. (in French).
  5. Vygotski L. Histoire du développement des fonctions psychiques supérieures. La Dispute, Paris. 1931/2014. (In French).
  6. Zavershneva E. et Van Der Veer R. Vygotsky’s notebooks. Springer, Perspectives in cultural-historical research, 2018. Vol. 2.
  7. Politzer G. Critique des fondements de la psychologie. PUF, Quadrige. (1928/2003). (In French).
  8. Wisner A. Aspects psychologiques de l’anthropotechnologie. Le travail humain, 1997, pp. 229—254. (In French).
  9. Clot Y. La recherche fondamentale de terrain : une troisième voie. Éducation permanente, 2008, pp. 67—77.
  10. Vygotski L. S. La signification historique de la crise en psychologie. Lausanne, Delachaux et Niestlé. 1927/1999. (In French).
  11. Vygotsky L.S. The problem of the environment. In Vygotsky et al. The Vygotsky reader. Basil Blackwell, 1994.
  12. Kostulski K., Prot B. L’activité conversationnelle d’un jury de validation d’acquis: analyse interlocutoire de la formation d’un concept potentiel. Psychologie française, 2004. Vol. 49 (4), pp. 425—441.
  13. Kloetzer L. Development of professional concepts through work analysis: Tech diving under the loop of activity clinic. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 2013. Vol. 20 (4), pp. 318— 337.
  14. Clot Y. La fonction psychologique du travail. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France-PUF, 1999.
  15. Vygotski L. (1924, 1930, 1932/2003). Conscience, inconscient, emotions. Paris: La Dispute, 2003.
  16. Clot Y. Le travail sans l’homme? Pour une psychologie des milieux de travail et de vie. Paris, La Découverte, 1995.
  17. Kloetzer L., Clot Y., Quillerou-Grivot E. Stimulating dialogue at work: The activity clinic approach to learning and development. In Francophone Perspectives of Learning Through Work (pp. 49—70). Springer International Publishing, 2015.
  18. Vygotski L. Pensée et langage. Paris: La Dispute, 1934/1997.
  19. Clot Y., Faïta D., Fernandez G., Scheller L. Entretiens en autoconfrontation croisée: une méthode en clinique de l’activité. Perspectives interdisciplinaires sur le travail et la santé, (2—1), 2000.
  20. Vygotski L. Défectologie et déficience mentale. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé, 1994.
  21. Clot Y., Kostulski K. Intervening for transforming: The horizon of action in the Clinic of Activity. Theory & Psychology, 2001. Vol. 21 (5), pp. 681—696.
  22. Kloetzer L. VET as transformative, collaborative research: Cross self-confrontation, dialogical artefacts, and the development of organizational dialogue in a Swiss factory. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 2018. Vol. 7 (2), pp. 63—83.

© 2007–2020 Portal of Russian Psychological Publications. All rights reserved in Russian

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Catalogue of academic journals in psychology & education MSUPE

Creative Commons License Open Access Repository     Webometrics Ranking of Repositories

RSS Psyjournals at facebook Psyjournals at Twitter Psyjournals at Youtube ??????.???????