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Bridging Cultural and Developmental Approaches to PsychologyNew Syntheses in Theory, Research, and Policy$
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Lene Arnett Jensen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383430.001.0001

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The Development of Individual Purposes

The Development of Individual Purposes

Creating Actuality Through Novelty

Chapter:
(p.212) Chapter 10 The Development of Individual Purposes
Source:
Bridging Cultural and Developmental Approaches to Psychology
Author(s):

Jaan Valsiner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383430.003.0010

This chapter proposes a theoretical model to make sense of how any human being can face future challenges at the present through cultural signs: which particular forms the sign-construction takes, how deep (or shallow) the hierarchical structure of semiotic mediation is, and how temporary or quasi-permanent it might be. The model is rooted in Vygotsky's focus on the dialectical nature of human development, and elaborated in life-course psychology by TEM (Trajectory Equifinality Model of Tatsuya Sato). The making of individual purposes is a process of anticipating the future relations with the changing context. Novelty is the ever-present—transitory—link between what these future relations are, and how they relate with the already known. Human development takes place on the borderline of the past and the future—creating the notion of the present as if it were a solid state of being, rather than an ephemeral state of eternal becoming.

Keywords:   semiotic mediation, dialectics, TEM, trajectory equifinality model, present cultural signs, future challenges

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