Speaker: Nikolai Veresov, Monash University
Abstract: In this lecture Nikolai Veresov presents and reveals Perezhivanie as the most intriguing and mystical concept of Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory of development. Language acquisition as part of the acquisition of human culture is a form of cultural development. Psychological development of a human being should be understood only as an aspect of the process of cultural development. Traditional theories of development are based on the metaphor of the mirror and the principle of reflection. Cultural-historical theory challenges this metaphor and proposes a metaphor of the prism and principle of refraction. Perezhivanie is a kind of prism through which an individual refracts events in the environment and forms his attitude
to it - the unique way of how a person perceives, understands, interprets and emotionally relates to the socio-cultural environment. Perezhivanie thus becomes the central fact of psychological development which explains the influence of the environment on the course of development.