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3V0718.01 Who’s there ? (Original notes on homely binding and lonely discovery) (1/10/80)

Peggy’s use of the knock-knock joke script has been monolithic — ie.
she would not respond in the victim’s role, nor would she continue in
any way no matter what response her victim made. This morning,
when I brought some coffee to Gretchen, I heard Peggy talking to
herself in the crib (Miriam was asleep). Peggy said, “Knock-knock.”
waited a while and then said, “Who’s there?” That is, she was clearly
rehearsing the entire joke script of her knowledge. The standard use of
rehearsing implies her objective of later performance. I mean no such
thing, but instead that Peggy was reciting both sides of a dialogue —
because she was alone, had no one to interact with.

Why is this significant ? Later that day, I said to Peggy, “Knock-knock,”
and she responded “Who’s there?” Subsequently, Miriam also noticed
that for the first time in her hearing that Peggy performed the victim’s
role. This seems a very early example of what I now see as a
fundamental process of learning which relates the elements of cultural
knowledge and indicates construction (see workbook, mid-January
1980). This process is the same as Miriam’s playing both sides of a
game in tic tac toe. Through homely processes of social binding scripts
are “memorized” from one role’s perspective. Through a later process
of lonely discovery, the multiple roles of a script are articulated. This
is a theory of enculturation and construction at a level of generality
comparable to Darwinian evolution as opposed to more nearly
computational theories of population genetics – but still it is a
beginning in an area currently too vague and unspecific.

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