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Giorgio Bertini

Giorgio Bertini's Public Library

Jul 03, 15

The main objective of this study is to understand the origin, history, and meaning that lie behind the practice of knitting mochilas, which is a daily activity of women, both young and old in the Arhuaca community. This study has been designed as qualitative and narrative in nature and is based upon an analysis of three specific cases, whose participants are young indigenous women from the Arhuaca community of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta (Colombia). The results showed how there are aspects related to personal identity, in both historical and contemporary ways that are linked to culture, origin of the mochila, its design and knitting as well as intrinsic meaning of knitting mochilas. Therefore, the approach to this study is to restore the importance of this daily activity in its development, establishment of identity and lifestyle of the participants – within the framework of Cultural Psychology – and its contribution to preservation of values, laws and significance belonging to indigenous cultures.

Jul 03, 15

The term social memory refers to the dynamic interplay between history, culture and cognition. At the level of the individual, three sources of knowledge: history, collective memory and individual experience combine to create a subjective view of historical reality, a common sense narrative that is often expressed with identity objectives and within an autobiographical context. This model of social memory, which is informed by social representations theory, makes a distinction between (i) collective memory, which is resistant to change, and (ii) representations of the past discussed and disseminated within a social milieu, which have the potential to evolve into new or altered perspectives, particularly when they are vulnerable to generational shift.

Jul 03, 15

Circumstantial precarity correlates with anxiety, but the relationship is complex because people often quell anxiety by denying precarity. This article focuses in particular on how in this neoliberal era such psychological responses to precarity are class variegated and articulated with neoliberal ideology. Because this field of research is largely uncharted, this paper pays considerable attention to developing a conceptual framework appropriate to this task. This framework is based in the distinction between “ontological security” and “existential anxiety” that is correlated with an innovative account of the contemporary global class structure presented as a stratification of security/precarity, and linked with an adaption of Gramsci’s theory of ideology. From this basis, likely collective subjective responses are “imputed,” adapting Lukács’ theory, from different strategic vantage points within the contemporary neoliberal form of the global class structure. As part of the project to resist neoliberalism, final discussion focuses on how anxiety might be quelled without resort to denial.

Jul 03, 15

Leadership is heralded as being critical to addressing the ‘‘crisis of governance’’ facing the Earth’s natural systems. While political, economic, and corporate discourses of leadership have been widely and critically interrogated, narratives of environmental leadership remain relatively neglected in the academic literature. The aims of this paper are twofold. First, to highlight the centrality and importance of environmental science’s construction and mobilization of leadership discourse. Second, to offer a critical analysis of environmental sciences’ deployment of leadership theory and constructs. The authors build on a review of leadership research in environmental science that reveals how leadership is conceptualized and analyzed in this field of study. It is argued that environmental leadership research reflects rather narrow framings of leadership. An analytical typology proposed by Keith Grint is employed to demonstrate how any singular framing of environmental leadership as person, position, process, result, or purpose is problematic and needs to be supplanted by a pluralistic view. The paper concludes by highlighting key areas for improvement in environmental leadership research, with emphasis on how a political ecology of environmental crisis narratives contributes to a more critical body of research on leadership in environmental science.

Jul 03, 15

The voluminous literature on intergenerational transmission often engages with the transmission of poverty and poor educational attainment. This article reviews and questions the assumptions made within this literature. In particular, the paper seeks to engage with the central importance of the embodied experience of lived history and its transmission through generations. In understanding this, the article uses the work of psychoanalysts Davoine and Gaudilliere, Bracha Ettinger, and Felix Guattari, all of whom deal, in different ways, with affective transmission through bodies, in locations, and in history. In using this work to understand classes transmission, the paper suggests a number of possible routes to understanding from the past and from the embodied present of the current generation. In order to produce a complex account which does not pathologise the experience of the previous generation (usually the mother), this experience needs to be both retheorised and placed in history.

Jul 03, 15

This special issue originates from an international workshop on ‘‘Vico and imagination,’’ that took place at Aalborg University in 2014, within a research project on Giambattista Vico and the epistemology of psychology. Imagination has inexplicably been relegated to the background in contemporary psychology, despite the fact that imaginative processes are involved in even the most mundane activities. In this editorial, I first present the rationale and the content of the articles and commentaries. Then I outline a brief history of the concept of imagination before Vico, drawing some consequences for contemporary psychology. Finally, I provide the proposal for a new research program on imagination as a higher psychological function that enables us to manipulate complex meanings of both linguistic and iconic forms in the process of experiencing.

Jul 02, 15

The potential of a broad enactive approach in education has yet to be realized. This thesis contributes to the development of a well-rounded enactive educational theory and practice. This thesis argues that a broad enactive perspective has the potential to challenge, reframe and reconfigure problems, issues and practices in education in ways that improve teaching, learning and research communities. It establishes that a broad enactive approach as a theory of embodied mind, a dynamic co-emergence theory, and a method of examining human experience helps to realize the meaning, scope, and potential of enactive education. It takes as its point of departure Dewey‘s broad enactive philosophy of mind, cognition, embodiment, experience, and dynamic co-emergence. It shows, through an examination of an actual public classroom encounter, that a broad enactive approach has the potential to reconfigure responsibility, ethics and justice in education. It demonstrates using a case study of the enactment of impostor feelings in higher education how a broad enactive approach to education as the potential to reconfigure teaching, learning and research practices.

Jul 02, 15

This dissertation builds on work that has applied complex systems thinking to socio-ecological systems as well as on research that explores critical and reflective approaches to planning. A broad, interdisciplinary literature review was undertaken to explore the implications of complex and critical systems thinking and critical social epistemology for environmental management, planning and policy research, governance and social learning. Building on the insights from this review, one of the key contributions of this research is a conceptual framework that explicitly integrates knowledge and learning into an understanding of socio-ecological systems. It is argued that in the highly complex and uncertain realm of environmental policy, planning and governance, we should begin to discuss such systems as socio-ecological-epistemological (SEE) systems. This research addresses the complexity, uncertainty, high decision stakes, power relations and plurality of knowledges involved in the process of social learning in environmental planning and governance.

Jul 02, 15

The signs of mating competition are written into the physiology of the human male, but they are not written equally into the physiology of all racial groupings of human males. It seems that Asian males are different, different in that they are more fully dissimilar from the gorilla than are other races, showing less sexual dimorphism, muscularity, and less marked secondary sexual characteristics, and different in that they are more fully dissimilar from the chimpanzee than are other races, showing less sexual drive and activity as well as smaller testicles and lower sperm counts. It is presently argued that such anatomical differences are a testament to a more peaceably monogamous mating history. In turn, it is then argued that such physiological markers are directly associated with the collectivist ethos that has been historically, anthropologically, and sociologically observed among the Asian people. It is the purpose of the present article to review these intraspecific biological differences across racial groupings, as they relate to interspecific biological differences across primates species. After extrapolating from animal models, the present work thereafter argues that Asian biology minimizes mating competition, promoting a more peaceable monogamous mating style, which, in turn, provided a biological substrate out of which collectivism could grow.

Jul 02, 15

Cognitive and psychological research provides useful theoretical perspectives for understanding what is happening inside the mind of an individual in tasks such as memory recall, judgment and decision making, and problem solving – including meta-cognitive tasks, when an individual is reflecting on their own or other people’s performance. Understanding these processes within individuals can help us understand under what conditions collective intelligence might form for a group and how we might optimize that group’s collective performance. Each of these components alone, or in concert, can be understood to form the basic building blocks of group collective intelligence.

In this chapter, we will review the cognitive and psychological research related to collective intelligence. We will begin by exploring how cognitive biases can affect collective behavior, both in individuals and in groups. Next, we will discuss the issue of expertise, and discuss how more knowledgeable individuals may behave differently, and how they can be identified. We will also review some recent research on consensus-based models and meta-cognitive models such as the Bayesian truth serum that identify knowledgeable individuals in the absence of any ground truth. We will then look at how information sharing between individuals affects the collective performance, and review a number of studies that manipulate how that information is shared. Finally, we will look at collective intelligence within a single mind.

Jul 02, 15

This study explored innovative alternative processes of living, learning, and knowledge sharing of a loosely knit community of anarchist, anticapitalist “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) activists. Generated through participant observation and interviews, findings reinforced adult education theories—that adults can diagnose their own learning needs and carry out appropriate learning activities. Participants also critiqued prevailing educational practices, suggesting alternatives such as autonomy, choice, critical thinking, cooperative learning, and deconstructing hierarchy. In particularly promising findings, the DIY activists described radical alternative channels for knowledge sharing: piracy, skill shares, Internet/open source media, the streets, and zines. Employing older and newer technologies, and legal and illegal methods, these modalities embodied in powerful ways the participants’ radical political commitments. The DIY activists also gave cause to reflect on the nature of cultural dialogism, community, and communities of practice as they struggled with the nature of their own identities, ideologies, and desires to broaden outreach beyond their immediate community.

Jul 01, 15

Knowledge and the communication of knowledge are critical for self-sustaining organizations comprised of people and the tools and machines that extend peoples’ physical and cognitive capacities. Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela proposed the concept of autopoiesis (“self” + “production”) as a definition of life in the 1970s. Nicklas Luhmann extended this concept to establish a theory of social systems, where intangible human social systems were formed by recursive networks of communications. We show here that Luhmann fundamentally misunderstood Maturana and Varela’s autopoiesis by thinking that the self-observation necessary for self-maintenance formed a paradoxically vicious circle. Luhmann tried to resolve this apparent paradox by placing the communication networks on an imaginary plane orthogonal to the networked people. However, Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology and the theory of hierarchically complex systems turns what Luhmann thought was a vicious circle into a virtuous spiral of organizational learning and knowledge. There is no closed circle that needs to be explained via Luhmann’s extraordinarily paradoxical linguistic contortions.

Jul 01, 15

Thrivability is a novel concept describing the intention to go beyond sustainability, allowing a system to flourish. For a society or organization to be thrivable, educated, responsible acting agents are needed. Traditional education focuses on (efficient) reproduction of existing organised bodies of information. We argue that complex adaptive systems theory and chaos theory provide concepts well suited to inform the design of learning environments, in order to facilitate a thrivable organization. This learning is not linear and externally controlled, but happens in a chaotic, yet guided manner. After discussing the suitability of the theoretical body of these general approaches, we show how a concrete progressive education approach, called the Dalton-Plan pedagogy, implements and supports these elements. By doing so, we show that the Dalton-Plan pedagogy is well suited for education of agents working in and for thrivable organizations. Support for teachers as part of this evolving learning system is provided by an e-learning environment.

Jul 01, 15

Models that belong to the realm of complexity studies turn very insightful when addressing societal and technological transitions. The very idea of transition finds direct counterparts in a number of phenomena in natural sciences, the most notable one being phase transitions. Complexity approaches to socio-economic systems have mostly involved financial markets. Here we claim that technological change is another promising field for complexity theories, and that technological transitions in particular have a large potential of new insights that complexity thinking can offer. In this paper we review a number of concepts and modelling approaches that we believe are particularly interesting in attacking technological transitions.

We have presented a number of models and theoretical frameworks that we believe are meaningful approaches to the complexity of technological and societal transitions. The main idea underlying this presentation is to think of transitions as events showing a “big change” with respect to the “regular” dynamics before and after the transition. Such big change may have different connotations, as phase transitions or critical mass, for instance. But in all cases, the intimate nature of the process is “complex”, because the transition dynamics shows characteristics that are unknown to the system without transition.

Jul 01, 15

The present study asks how cooperation and consequently structure can emerge in many different evolutionary contexts. Cooperation, here, is a persistent behavioural pattern of individual entities pooling and sharing resources. Examples are: individual cells forming multicellular systems whose various parts pool and share nutrients; pack animals pooling and sharing prey; families firms, or modern nation states pooling and sharing financial resources. In these examples, each atomistic decision, at a point in time, of the better-off entity to cooperate poses a puzzle: the better-off entity will book an immediate net loss — why should it cooperate? For each example, specific explanations have been put forward. Here we point out a very general mechanism — a sufficient null model — whereby cooperation can evolve. The mechanism is based the following insight: natural growth processes tend to be multiplicative. In multiplicative growth, ergodicity is broken in such a way that fluctuations have a net-negative effect on the time-average growth rate, although they have no effect on the growth rate of the ensemble average. Pooling and sharing resources reduces fluctuations, which leaves ensemble averages unchanged but — contrary to common perception — increases the time-average growth rate for each cooperator.

Jul 01, 15

I’ve suggested that traditional ethical convictions in our culture have been grounded in a belief (often tacit) in an immaterial soul that somehow uses the brain, but reserves for itself the powers of moral reasoning, decision making, and an appreciation of meaning and purpose. The cognitive neuroscience revolution challenges that belief, and increasingly forces us to recognize that all mental life is a product of the evolved, genetically influenced structure of the brain. This challenge has also been seen to threaten sacred moral values, but I would argue (and like to think that Gazzaniga agrees) that in fact that is not a logical consequence. On the contrary, I think a better understanding of what makes us tick, and of our place in nature, can clarify those values. This understanding shows that political equality does not require sameness, but rather policies that treat people as individuals with rights; that moral progress does not require that the mind is free of selfish motives, only that it has other motives to counteract them; that responsibility does not require that behavior is uncaused, only that it responds to contingencies of credit and blame; and that finding meaning in life does not require that the process that shaped the brain have a purpose, only that the brain itself have a purpose.

Jun 30, 15

Few would dispute that sovereign defaults entail significant economic costs, including, most notably, important output losses. However, most of the evidence supporting this conventional wisdom, based on annual observations, suffers from serious measurement and identification problems. To address these drawbacks, we examine the impact of default on growth by looking at quarterly data for emerging economies. We find that, contrary to what is typically assumed, output contractions precede defaults. Moreover, we find that the trough of the contraction coincides with the quarter of default, and that output starts to grow thereafter, indicating that default episode seems to mark the beginning of the economic recovery rather than a further decline. This suggests that, whatever negative effects a default may have on output, those effects result from anticipation of a default rather than the default itself.

Jun 30, 15

Because we are a social species, humans have evolved a fundamental need to belong that encourages behaviors reflective of being good group members. From this perspective, the need for interpersonal attachments is a fundamental motive that has evolved for adaptive purposes. Effective groups shared food, provided mates, and helped care for offspring. As such, human survival has long depended on living within groups; banishment from the group was effectively a death sentence. Thus, the human brain is social at its core. What do you need to make a social brain? Or what does the brain need to do to allow it to be social? Given the fundamental need to belong, there needs to be a social brain system that monitors for signs of social inclusion or exclusion and alters behavior to forestall rejection or resolve other social problems. In this chapter I have proposed that building a social brain requires four components, each of which involves distinct functional brain regions. First, people need self-awareness — to be aware of their behaviors so as to gauge them against societal or group norms. Second, people need to have a theory of mind — to understand how others are reacting to their behavior so as to predict how others will respond to them. Third, they need to be able to detect threats. Threat detection involves at least the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex, although the precise nature of their roles in threat detection remains somewhat unclear. The fourth component is the ability to self-regulate.

Jun 30, 15

Adolescence is a time of considerable development at the level of behaviour, cognition and the brain.
This article reviews histological and brain imaging studies that have demonstrated specific changes in
neural architecture during puberty and adolescence, outlining trajectories of grey and white matter
development. The implications of brain development for executive functions and social cognition during puberty and adolescence are discussed. Changes at the level of the brain and cognition may map onto behaviours commonly associated with adolescence. Finally, possible applications for education and social policy are briefly considered.

Jun 30, 15

Adolescence is a time of transformation that is characterized by discrete changes in behavior, cognition and the brain – some of which are likely pubertal dependent, and others which are not. Although set within cultural contexts, these transformations appear to have biological roots that are deeply embedded in our evolutionary past. Starting from an evolutionary perspective, this paper provides an overview of the neurobiological and hormonal changes of adolescence and the implications of this biology for adolescent risk-taking and other behaviors. So, what impact does consideration of the biology of adolescence have for understanding adolescent risk-taking? Basic neurobehavioral characteristics of adolescents have biological roots that are deeply imbedded in our evolutionary past. Adolescents view rewarding and aversive stimuli differently than do adults. The adolescent brain does not seem to merely reflect a series of regions attaining maturity at different times, but in some sense can be characterized as a brain that reacts differently to stimuli than does the mature brain.

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