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ERIC Number: EJ1138640
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1838-0689
Finding the "Prism": Understanding Vygotsky's "Perezhivanie" as an Ontogenetic Unit of Child Consciousness
Michell, Michael
International Research in Early Childhood Education, v7 n1 p5-33 2016
The concept of perezhivanie, Vygotsky's "last word" on psychology, has been among the most difficult of his theoretical constructs to define and operationalise in research. Drawing on close analysis of key texts, this article identifies and examines three defining attributes of "perezhivanie" found throughout Vygotsky's works. The attributes are: "perezhivanie" as a prism of psychological development, as a unit of human consciousness, and as intelligent perception of one's environment. In contrast with common understandings of "perezhivanie" as "emotional experience", privileging it as affect, this article highlights the intellectual basis of "perezhivanie" in Vygotsky's writings with particular reference to his notions of "generalised" and "intelligent perception". The article argues that "perezhivanie" is best understood, psychologically, as an intellectual gestalt reflecting the intellectualisation of perception and, ontologically, as an apperceptual "organ of selection" of consciousness and personality "refracting" the child's individual social situation of development.
Monash University Faculty of Education. McMahons Road, Frankston, Victoria, Australia 3199. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A