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January 2022

The concept of culture in Vygotsky's thinking

Journal/Book: Cult Psychol. 1996; 2: 6 Bonhill Street, London, England EC2A 4PU. Sage Publications Ltd. 247-263.

Abstract: It is shown that Vygotsky's concept of culture was codetermined by two fundamental traditions in the human sciences. The first tradition was initiated by Humboldt and exerted a powerful influence on Vygotsky's thinking through the works of Potebnya and Shpet. Vygotsky's thinking about linguistic mediation was to a large extent determined by this tradition. The second tradition was that of Marxism and progressive thought and influenced Vygotsky's thinking about such notions as tool-use and social and cultural progress. The way in which Vygotsky combined these different perspectives in his concept of culture is described. It is suggested that this concept of culture was powerful but also limited and biased.

Note: Article vanderVeer R, Leiden Univ, Fac Social Sci, Dept Educ, Postbus 9555, NL-2300 RA Leiden, NETHERLANDS

Keyword(s): culture; history of psychology; human development; mind

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