Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind

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9780674943506: Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind
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In a book of intellectual breadth, James Wertsch not only offers a synthesis and critique of all Vygotsky's major ideas, but also presents a program for using Vygotskian theory as a guide to contemporary research in the social sciences and humanities. He draws extensively on all Vygotsky's works, both in Russian and in English, as well as on his own studies in the Soviet Union with colleagues and students of Vygotsky.

Vygotsky's writings are an enormously rich source of ideas for those who seek an account of the mind as it relates to the social and physical world. Wertsch explores three central themes that run through Vygotsky's work: his insistence on using genetic, or developmental, analysis; his claim that higher mental functioning in the individual has social origins; and his beliefs about the role of tools and signs in human social and psychological activity Wertsch demonstrates how the notion of semiotic mediation is essential to understanding Vygotsky's unique contribution to the study of human consciousness.

In the last four chapters Wertsch extends Vygotsky's claims in light of recent research in linguistics, semiotics, and literary theory. The focus on semiotic phenomena, especially human language, enables him to integrate findings from the wide variety of disciplines with which Vygotsky was concerned Wertsch shows how Vygotsky's approach provides a principled way to link the various strands of human science that seem more isolated than ever today.

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About the Author:

James V. Wertsch is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, Clark University.

Review:

Wertsch presents the reader with what amounts to a sort of intellectual history of an individual of remarkable breadth and insight and, in doing so, has revealed himself to be a first-rate scholar as well.
--James Gavelek (Journal of Reading Behavior)

This book falls into three parts: a biographical sketch of Vygotsky, an outline of his principal tenets, and Wertsch's own attempt to bring them up to date. His scholarship is exemplary: the book is the most detailed account in English of its subject's life and work. It will be welcomed by cognitive psychologists and students of development.
--P. N. Johnson-Laird (Times Literary Supplement)

Wertsch accomplishes an impressive task in this book, providing an enriching source on Vygotsky's ideas as well as constructively criticizing and extending them. (Contemporary Psychology)

Clear, subtle, and always focused on the central issues...The book goes beyond Vygotsky's work and draws on other current research in cognitive studies, cross-cultural psychology, education, and work by linguists, philosophers, and students and colleagues of Vygotsky...It is a significant contribution by Wertsch to have synthesized the theory itself with such clarity, and more so to have brought it up to date with contemporary research on so many fields.
--Thomas S. Weisner (American Anthropologist)

An excellent analysis of Vygotsky's theory and it will certainly be enjoyed by those interested in the history and theory of psychology. But it also should be of great interest for those involved in the experimental study of language and cognition.
--Alex Kozulin (American Journal of Psychology)

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9780674943513: Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind

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ISBN 10:  0674943511 ISBN 13:  9780674943513
Publisher: Harvard University Press, 1988
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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, MA, 1985. Enc. original de tapa dura. Condition: NUEVO / NEW. 1ª edicion. WERTSCH, J. V. VYGOTSKY AN THE SOCIAL FORMATION OF MIND [HARDBACK]. CAMBRIDGE, MA, 1985, xiv 262 p. Encuadernacion original. Nuevo. Seller Inventory # 26559

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