Hope as fantasy in action

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Drawing on Vygotsky’s theory of imagination (Vygotsky 2004) I am proposing a phenomenology of hoping as fantasy in action. Based on analysis of 35 interviews with teenagers who are living in households with a somatically ill parent, I suggest that hoping plays a central role in the teenager’s attempts for upholding a conduct of everyday life. I argue that hoping serves as a meaning horizon, a gegenstand for adjusting to the ongoing challenges that living with illness impose on the families. Hoping is an imaginary backdrop, against which events and tasks, moods and impressions are experienced and evaluated, and thus the fantasies involved in hoping becomes constitutive for experiencing. I apply Vygotsky’s experiential view of imaginary activities and explore the experiential status of the “imagined” and the relation between imagining and the real, through the empirical material on hope. This work illustrates a synthesis between cultural-historical and existential-phenomenological theorizing on the phenomenon of hope as a fantasy and a practice (Vygotsky 1998, Mattingly 2010, Heidegger 2010, Webb 2007). This is done in order to illustrate that hoping is a meaning-making effort that - in the event of parental illness - protects the hoper from despair.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year29 Aug 2017
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2017
EventISCAR 2017, Quebec, Canada: Taking a 360° view of the landscape of cultural-historical activity research: The state of our scholarship in practice - Convenience Congress Center , Quebec, Canada
Duration: 28 Aug 20171 Sep 2017
Conference number: 5


ConferenceISCAR 2017, Quebec, Canada
LocationConvenience Congress Center

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