The International Society for Cultural and Activity Research (ISCAR) is a scientific association that aims to promote and develop multidisciplinary theoretical and empirical research on societal, cultural and historical dimensions of human practices, and to promote mutual scientific communication and research cooperation among its members.
No singular description fully characterizes the intellectual focus of ISCAR, even if the primary frame of reference that has historically brought researchers together from different disciplines into ISCAR has been an interest in a related set of psychologically-oriented theoretical perspectives that were first formulated in the 1920s and 1930s in the Soviet Union by such researchers as L.S.Vygotsky, A.N.Leontiev, A.R.Luria, and S.L.Rubinshtein. International attention to these perspectives by researchers outside of the Soviet Union started in the 1960s, especially by psychologists, educational researchers, and linguists. Subsequently there has been interest from computer and information scientists and other researchers interested in collective practices. The diversity of disciplinary backgrounds and specific research interests led to the reception of these theoretical perspectives in differentiated ways, such that theoretical foci were formulated that emphasized a subset of ideas from these perspectives, and not necessarily from all of them. These foci have subsequently been elaborated further such that today there is no typical or predominant theoretical perspective within ISCAR.
As a result of cooperation between Moscow State University of Psychology & Education (MSUPE) and International Society for Cultural-historical Activity Research (ISCAR) – the unique program of International Summer University for PhD students and young scholars was implemented and is run in MSUPE (Moscow, Russian Federation) as an annual event since 2010. Participation in the Summer University allows young scholars from all over the world to familiarize themselves with the tradition of cultural-historical psychology and learn from the experience of major specialists in this field.
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Article “International Symposium: “Scientific School of L.S. Vygotsky: Traditions and Innovations” and International ISCAR Summer University for PhD Students” in a special volume of international journal “Cultural-historical psychology“