Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Moises Esteban-GuitartEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_616


Appropriation (from Latin appropriare, “to make one’s own”) is a Marxist origin concept borrowed from Hegel by Marx, well developed by philosophers such as Henri Lefebvre psychologists such as Carl Graumann and environmental and urban psychologists, such as Perla Korosec-Serfaty and Enric Pol, between many others such as Vygotsky. Indeed, Vygotsky’s work was influenced by Marx and it is probably one of the most useful directions to apply some Marxist ideas to psychology.

For Vygotsky (1978), the emergence of higher mental functions (verbal thought, focussed attention, deliberate memory, and so on) – unique to humans, culturally mediated, and passed on by teaching – is characterized by internalization. It can be defined as “the conversion of social relations into mental functions” (Vygotsky, 1981, p. 165). Individual development cannot be understood without reference to the social and cultural context within which it is embedded. Indeed, higher mental processes in the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essapys. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bakhtin, M. M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevskyy’s poetics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  3. Marx, K. (1959). Economic and philosophical manuscripts of 1844. Moscow: Progress Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Rogoff, B. (1995). Observing sociocultural activity on three planes: Participatory appropriation, guided participation, and apprenticeship. In J. V. Wertsch, P. Del Rio, & A. Alvarez (Eds.), Sociocultural studies of mind (pp. 139–164). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Valsiner, J. (2007). Culture in minds and societies. Foundations of cultural psychology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Vygotsky, L. (1981). The genesis of higher mental functions. In J. V. Wertsch (Ed.), The concept of activity in Soviet psychology. Armonk, NY: Sharpe.Google Scholar
  8. Wertsch, J. (1991). Voices of the mind. A sociocultural approach to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Wertsch, J. (1998). Mind as action. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GironaGironaSpain