Posts tagged ‘Social constructivism’

March 2, 2013

Unveiling Knowledge: pre-linguistic experiences and metaphors

Experience-driven metaphors reveal knowledge (C) NewYorker

How can we access Knowledge?

This question was triggered by Slobin’s book, Psycholinguistics, originally written in 1971 that I was reading in its second edition.

Slobin reflects on language and the role of psycholinguistics, and there he states that “language, like all systems of human knowledge, can only be inferred from careful study of overt behaviour. […] It is important to grasp the distinction  between overt behaviour and underlying structure. In English and other languages, the distinction is expressed  in the concepts of LANGUAGE and SPEECH: SPEECH has a corresponding verb form, whereas LANGUAGE does not.” (Slobin 1979 :2).

This distinction reminds Saussures’ Langue and Parole, when he says that language should be considered as the norm of all other manifestations of speech (1916 :9). Though Slobin, by pointing out the active nature of speech, that corresponds to a verb, to an action, has brought in something I have found worth a thought. So, what if we shift Slobin’s definitions and equal knowledge to language and speech to the act of meaning making?

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February 23, 2013

Play to build organisations’ social capital

Social Capital is more than the individual / human capital- Build it with LEGO

The simplest questions are the toughest to be faced. Methodologies like LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) are said and proved to have a huge effect on organisations. Right, organisations. But what are organisations? And how LSP can be beneficial?
It might sound a stupid question, though I think that there are no stupid questions just wrong assumptions. In order to  better understand the context, I had a look to some classical authors in organisational theory. I’ve looked back at what literature says about organisations: literature is still a huge resource when it is part of a search for answers. I’ve started with classics, those authors that most managers today should be familiar with to better understand the context as it is.
Weick (1979) says that organisations are ‘identifiable social entity pursuing multiple objectives through the coordinated activities and relations among members and objects’ (:3) and later, in 1984, Daft & Weick write that organisations are ‘open systems that process information from the environment’ (:285) so that are seen as meaning systems (:293).
Scott (1987) focus on people when stating that “organisations are social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of special goals” (:10).
Chia (2000 :514) says that organisations are social objects constituted by discourse.
The social nature of organisations seems clear: organisations are made by people.

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February 10, 2013

Situated identities: a safety net to serious play

Situated identitiesIdentities and roles, in any kind of organised society, are said to be socially constructed: they are based on the implicit rules of collective agreement and acceptance. This makes most of such roles static, repetitive and defined independently by the individuals.
These socially constructed role-based identities are entwined with a number of implied relations that determine the quality of the relationships and define a set of rules of conduct that are accepted and never put into discussion. Such a situation is symptomatic of a society based on the ‘myth’ of hierarchies, scared of failing, motionless.
While the economic situation in Europe sinks, this immobile situation, that would call for changes and creativity, rather than experimenting on innovation, allows the fear to fail to prevail on the risk to succeed.
Society and people prefer to play safe rather than to put themselves into play and rather than assuming the responsibility of a change and play with those rules, they follow and reiterate practices that, being static and mindlessly repeated, have lead to a stagnant situation. A change is needed: Innovation is claimed as the key solution. But Innovation is not a good, is the result of a creative and dynamic approach.
Creativity requires flexibility, action and courage to try something new and the the will to explore what ifs. Rather than playing safe, if the aim is to discover new opportunities, we need to play. Seriously.

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September 21, 2012

LegoViews or Legoviews?

Creative processes always require time and the more difficulties and challenges they face, the more the resulting projects are innovative and original.

I have found myself playing around with LSP (Oops, I did it again!) and LegoViews a lot and the newest projects will be shortly revealed. In the meantime, while I am allowed to disclose the very first new initiative I have been working on, I have opened a FaceBook LegoViews‘ page: feel free to join!

Recently I have been pointed out that I spell both LegoViews and Legoviews and actually, there’s a reason for this, which might be subtle, but it makes a lot of difference.

LegoViews [LWs] is the Method: LEGO are the tool used to extract Views, to delve into human perceptions and representations, to discover and to create new meanings. It’s a modern maieutic approach based on the constructionist theories, which has been developed from LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. It’s actually my main personal challenge and the result of three years of thinking, testing and learnig by doing.

LegoViews is more than a way to challenge traditional journalism: it’s an attempt to explore the world through other people’s perception of reality and their views of the world. It’s a way to build worlds with words through unusual and different cognitive mechanisms.

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December 24, 2011

A Christmas Carol: LegoViews’ Ghost of an Idea

Getting Ready for the Next Legoviews

Getting Ready for the Next Legoviews

Recently, one of the questions I’ve been asked the most is how did I come up with the idea of LegoViews. So, since it’s Christmas, it’s a good time for stories and here’s the story.

When I’ve started my PhD almost 3 years ago, I was obsessed with my ontological view and spent months trying to find the right approach to tackle my research questions. I ended up embracing Social Constructivism and in particular John Searle’s approach. But once I defined the theoretical framework, I needed to find a research method which were constructive enough and which could help me to highlight how social realities are built.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on methods, did my duties reading books and papers about the traditional methods used in social sciences: survey, interviews, focus groups… None of them was fitting enough into my idea – I wanted something more challenging and something which could explain and show the processes and which could materialize somehow the construction of social realities.
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