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Request for financial support to the coming of professor PhD Morten Nissen from the University of Copenhagen


Activities at PUC-SP, LAEL Minicourse 12-14/11: The subjectivity of participation: Articulating social youth work. The course reviews attempts in social theory to conceptualize collectivity with subjectivity, focused on the Vygotskian tradition, and its potential to overcome a problematic division between philosophy, psychology, and social and cultural theory. Using a dialectical methodology, the theoretical traditions are seen as representing a) collectivity in-itself, where meaning is immanent; b) collectivity for-itself, where meaning is imposed and c) collectivity in-and-for-itself, where meaning is self-assumed as a 'we' that overcomes itself in socio-cultural transformation. These approaches to collectivity correspond to concepts of human development as participation, viewed as situated learning, subjectification, and interpellation. Various instances and forms of educational, therapeutic, and social work practice are discussed: How do they constitute reflexive collectivity and subjectivity? Which standards and hopes are implied or imposed? How can the performance or creation of this critique connect with social transformation? Lecture at the SIAC / LACE Forum: 15-16/11: Meeting youth in movement and on neutral ground. The title was the motto of a community of youth workers in Copenhagen in the 1990s, and captures some key aspects of their form of youth / social work / education, which could be called a 'critical trans-pedagogy'. The lecture reconstructs the lessons I learnt from collaborating with these youth workers. The idea of a 'neutral ground', when taken seriously, is extremely challenging, since it involves establishing collaborative projects in zones of transition. Not only are the social workers and their collectives at stake along with the youths; it also takes place where the politics of an expanding or retreating welfare state is redefined. The 'movement' referred to is a deeply historical fusion of emergent narratives. The construction of spaces as / on 'neutral ground' is part of the modeling and performance of those narratives, e.g. when drug dealers are recruited as participants of a festival to reclaim a city square for a neighborhood community that challenges city bureaucracy. Lecture LAEL (Segundas do LAEL)-21/11Standards, standpoint, and common sense in drug counseling. Summary: Drug counseling is one field in which the gap is widening between standardizations and traditions that emphasize subjectivity, singularity and process. The lecture seeks to bridge the gap with a dialectical approach to practice that takes off from the interplay of sense with meaning. When sense is objectified into meaning, it transcends the semiotic inter-subjectivity of its immediate community. Common sense, then, can be regarded as a confirmation of community on the terms already given to it - in a word, ideology. By contrast, ideology critique reveals common sense as a false unity, a disintegration of abstract ideals from profane realities that works to conceal antagonisms of sense between participants. I am currently engaged in a research that attempts to trace and co-construct standards that are immanent as situated sense, perhaps enforced as common sense, and rearticulated as 'user-driven' standards of youth life with or without drugs, or of social work. This is done in a dialogue with social workers who cherish narrative singularity but are obliged to deal in standardization. The dialogue takes off from some of the paradoxes that emerge in this situation. Talking with LACE e ILCAE, students and professors (AU)

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