Social Simulations as a Tool for Understanding Individual, Cultural and Societal Change

  • Deborah Downing Wilson
  • Michael Cole


In approaching the topic of the role of social relations in the linked processes of individual and societal change, we take it as axiomatic that these relations are constituted in the medium of culture. Greatly influenced by the work of scholars in the cultural-historical tradition, particularly Vygotsky (1978) and Luria (1979), as well as a number of American and Western European scholars (for a relevant summary, see Cole, 1996), we believe culture, the accumulated social inheritance of the social group and humanity as a whole, is central to understanding how social relations enter into the process of both individual and societal change. Social interactions, in this view, are conceived of as “joint mediated activity”, people acting together in a cultural medium.


Financial Crisis Fair Trade Cultural Group Personal Achievement Societal Change 
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© Deborah Downing Wilson and Michael Cole 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Downing Wilson
  • Michael Cole

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