Item Details

Toward an understanding of perezhivanie for sociocultural SLA research

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2015)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.v2i2.26248


Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory has been invaluable for informing new theoretical approaches to the study of L2 acquisition. However, the concept of perezhivanie has been overlook despite playing a central role in crystallising ideas in both Vygotsky's negative arguments and his positive theory. Here, I revisit the concept as a potential means to inform the kind of emic approach to research Firth and Wagner (1997; 2007) had argued was necessary for balance in the field of SLA. As a first step, I examine perezhivanie as discussed in 'The Problem of the Environment' (Vygotsky, 1994), and within the context of other aspects of Vygotsky’s work – his criticisms of psychology; the functional unity of consciousness; the concept of the unit; and holism - to clarify misunderstandings and expand on its theoretical content. I conclude with a discussion of the issues raised when perezhivanie is applied in the study of memory.

Author: Nelson Mok

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