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Subjectivity and cultural adjustment in mathematics education: a response to Wolff-Michael Roth

Brown, Tony (2012) Subjectivity and cultural adjustment in mathematics education: a response to Wolff-Michael Roth. ISSN 1573-0816


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In this volume, Wolff-Michael Roth provides a critical but partial reading of Tony Brown’s book Mathematics Education and Subjectivity. The reading contrasts Brown’s approach with Roth’s own conception of subjectivity as derived from the work of Vygotsky, in which Roth aims to “reunite” psychology and sociology. Brown’s book, however, focuses on how discourses in mathematics education shape subjective action within a Lacanian model that circumnavigates both “psychology” and “sociology”. From that platform, this paper responds to Roth through problematising the idea of the individual as a subjective entity in relation to the two perspectives, with some consideration of corporeality and of how the Symbolic encounters the Real. The paper argues for a Lacanian conception of subjectivity for mathematics education comprising a response to a social demand borne of an ever-changing symbolic order that defines our constitution and our space for action. The paper concludes by considering an attitude to the production of research objects in mathematics education research that resists the normalisation of assumptions as to how humans encounter mathematics.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Legacy Research Institutes > Education and Social Research institute (ESRI) > ESRI: Education and Social Research Institute
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012 11:01
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 02:53
URI: http://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/237915


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