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Tenzer, A. (1990). Vygotsky and Psychoanalysis—The Interpersonal Matrix of Individuality: J. Wertsch, Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 26:16-23.

(1990). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26:16-23

Vygotsky and Psychoanalysis—The Interpersonal Matrix of Individuality: J. Wertsch, Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.

Review by:
Anita Tenzer, Ph.D.

FOR MANY YEARS LEV VYGOTSKY has been a familiar name to Americans, yet at the same time who he was and what he was about have been less than clear. It is in good measure thanks to James Wertsch's work in translating, editing and explicating Vygotsky over the years that we have had some awareness of Vygotsky's genius. Now, in his illuminating book, Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind(1985), he has given us a lucid picture of Vygotsky's thinking as well as his own extension of it.

Vygotsky and Sullivan have much the same view with respect to the social origins of what is essentially human about mankind. They both consider that the individual develops as a function of social interaction. They both note that the individual does unto others and to himself what has been done to him. They both are concerned with how experience is organized, internalized and transmitted through language. They both try to understand the interplay between interpersonal and intrapersonal processes and they share the concept of affect contagion.

Vygotsky and Sullivan would have found common ground in the person of George Herbert Mead, whom they both respected. While both Sullivan and Vygotsky are interested in the social and cultural underpinnings in human development, Vygotsky is more concerned with cognition; Sullivan pays more attention to the role of affect. Mead serves as a bridge between them. He is concerned with how an individual develops from the social environment and

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1990)

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