BEFORE THE “BOOM”: Readings and Uses of Vygotsky in Argentina (1935–1974)

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Abstract

This article analyzes, from the standpoint of reception studies and transnational history, the different ways Lev S. Vygotsky’s published work in Spanish, English, and Russian was read, discussed, and used in Argentina from 1935 to 1974. This “early” reception primarily involved 2 groups: writers affiliated with the Argentine Communist Party, and individuals without political affiliations who engaged in discussion with Communists. The article argues that Communism, as a cultural tradition and political organization, played a key role in the reception and diffusion of Vygotsky’s work. The ideas of the Soviet psychologist were applied in 3 different areas: the psychophysiological theorizing of consciousness, the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia, and the study of psychiatric phenomena. This article partially reconstructs the circulation of Soviet psychology in Argentina in order to provide a critical approach regarding the inclusion of certain figures in the psychological canon, the methods by which these authors have been researched in the past, the means that enable the circulation of psychological knowledge, and the ways in which the political and intellectual milieu of reception define the productivity and relevance of an author.

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