Mediated Action in Social Space

James V. Wertsch

in Mind as Action

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780195117530
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846917 | DOI:
Mediated Action in Social Space

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The distinction between social, interactional, and individual processes examined here is based on Vygotsky's account of “intermental” and “intramental” functioning. Some recent studies go beyond Vygotsky's claims in their emphasis on intermental functioning as stable and point rather to the intramental plane. Specifically discussed are intersubjectivity and alterity in social interaction, intersubjectivity and alterity in studies of intermental functioning, intersubjectivity and alterity in instructional discourse, and reciprocal teaching as instructional discourse. Moreover, some ways that the appropriation of cultural tools are tied to particular forms of intermental functioning are shown. There is an important parallel, at least at a general level, between the line of reasoning that have been pursued and that have been developed by another figure whose writings have heavily influenced sociocultural studies, namely John Dewey.

Keywords: cultural tools; mediated action; social interaction; intermental functioning; intersubjectivity; alterity; John Dewey

Chapter.  12373 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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