On the study of culture and mind: Interview with Prof. Michael Cole


  • Vlad Glăveanu


Culture and mind represent, in themselves, perhaps the two most complicated phenomena to ever be studied. Their massive complexity has posed, for centuries, great challenges to researchers from a variety of fields. It is therefore all the more difficult to understand the interconnection between the two. And yet, as Professor Michael Cole and, more broadly, cultural psychologists would argue: there is no way of making sense of one if we disregard the other. Culture and mind constitute each other through action and communication and it is their intricate relationship that holds the key to understanding human nature and human society. Professor Cole, one of the pioneers of cultural psychology, discusses in this interview the theoretical and methodological difficulties that have shaped his work for several decades, a work accompanied at times by great frustrations but also remarkable rewards. For it is in studying culture and mind, rather than culture or mind, that we can come not only to appreciate development but find ways to actively and efficiently support it.