Graphing In, For, and As Societal Relation

  • Wolff-Michael Roth


Graphing (production, interpretation, reading) tends to be thought of as a skill or a set of skills that is somewhere located and represented in the mind (e.g., as procedural skill). However, from a cultural-historical perspective, the specificity of human practices is their cultural nature. The origin of individual practices and skills, therefore, is not the individual but culture. Where in culture would the individual find the skill or acquire them? Vygotskij suggests that all higher psychological functions are societal relations. That is, by participating in societal relations, human beings come to enact new forms of practices (skills) that later show up as if these were their own. This also allows us to understand why new skills, practices, and understandings that exceed individual competencies can emerge. These exist as, in, and for relations first, and once individuals have become familiar with the new skills, practices, and understandings, they exhibit them independent of the relation. This is also the case in scientific discovery research. I show in this chapter how new graphing-related practice exist in relation before they exist for the individual.


Coho Salmon Psychological Function Original Emphasis Relation Relation Laboratory Member 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolff-Michael Roth
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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