Towards a Cultural Psychology: Meaning and Social Practice as Key Elements
Several prominent scholars in the Social Sciences have defended the need for a new way of studying the relationship between culture and the individual. Over the last three decades, it has been common to find studies under the heading of Cultural Psychology (CP), which have focussed on the role of culture in historical and ontogenetic development. However, among the defenders of CP, there have been specific disagreements over theoretical and methodological aspects of the project. This lack of
... ct. This lack of agreement is revealed by the different conceptions of the role of meaning and social practice in human psychological functioning. This paper aims is to analyze some different approaches to CP, and the role of meaning plays in its constitution. For us, the central claim of CP is that the human mind should be seen as inter-penetrated by intentional worlds that are culturally and historically situated, and this psychology must to study the ways psyche and culture; person and context, self and other, practitioner and practice live together, and jointly make each other up. In addition, CP has also identified the symbolic mediation of mind and culture as its analytical focus. Finally, we defend that culture and mind are to be treated as forms of culturally differentiated meaning practices. To make possible this enterprise, we propose the necessity to develop the notion of mediated and situated actions as a unit of analysis of Cultural Psychology.