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Chapter 3 - Psychology within Time

Theorizing about the Making of Socio-Cultural Psychology

from Part I - Theoretical and methodological issues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Jaan Valsiner
Affiliation:
Clark University, Massachusetts
Alberto Rosa
Affiliation:
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
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Summary

This chapter focuses on the historical socio-cultural processes of producing psychological theories, and most specifically theories of a socio-cultural kind. Psychology is a consequence of situated activities and thus the knowledge it offers is subordinated to a process of continuous cultural and historical transformation. The chapter describes how human rationality gets shaped in a socio-historical spiral, focusing on how culture establishes and distributes levels of self-reflection about human action. An analysis of the emergence of psychological theories about the socio-cultural phenomenon follows. The chapter then explains how multidisciplinary heritage produced current psychological approaches to socio-cultural phenomena. The sociocultural network of contents, reasons, and meanings, which shape subjectivity and permit to make sense of human activity is examined. Finally, the chapter argues that human behavior involves an activity oriented towards establishing the meaning of experiencing.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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