Chapter

Narrative as a Cultural Tool for Representing the Past

James V. Wertsch

in Mind as Action

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780195117530
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846917 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195117530.003.0003
Narrative as a Cultural Tool for Representing the Past

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This chapter examines how a particular set of cultural tools—those involving language—shape mediated action in particular ways. The general claims that have been made about mediated action are applied to speech. Some concrete cases are analyzed to see how the notions play out. Cultural tools and forms of mediated action used to represent the past are explored. A few of the implications that follow from viewing narratives as cultural tools are outlined, focusing on historical narratives and ways in which they are mastered and used by laypeople, but this still leaves open a vast array of issues, the chapter states. The special properties of narrative as a mediational means are the starting point for all the analysis in this chapter.

Keywords: cultural tools; narratives; language; mediated action; speech

Chapter.  14474 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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