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Book: Language, Society and Consciousness

Chapter: 4 On the Social Conditions for Semiotic Mediation: the genesis of mind in society

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25626


The aim of this chapter is to make a contribution to the approach inaugurated by Vygotsky’s pioneering work. To achieve this end, in Section 2, a brief account of Vygotsky’s theory of the ‘genesis of human mind’ will be presented. Human mind for Vygotsky is a developing phenomenon; it moves from elementary, less evolved functions, having a biogenetic foundation, to higher, more evolved functions, with a sociogenetic foundation. The active agent in this developmental move is the process of ‘semiotic mediation’ – an expression which, in effect, captures the deep meaning of social interaction. In this way the theoretical framework lays a firm foundation for bringing together the natural and the social.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ruqaiya Hasan ( - book-auth-41) 'Macquarie University (Emeritus)'