Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory in the context of globalization

Simon Marginson, Thi Kim Anh Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The article reviews the social-educational theorization of the early Soviet psychologist L. S. Vygotsky (1896–1934) in the light of the impact of communicative globalization in educational practice. Vygotsky proposed four “genetic domains” for investigating higher cognitive processes:the phylogenetic (humans undergoing natural evolution), the cultural historical(social activity of humans), the ontogenetic (individual lifespan),and the microgenetic (immediate events). Vygotskian sociocultural theory is widely used in educational research, especially Vygotsky’s notion of mediated development via tools and signs. Since Vygotsky, communicative globalization has transformed educational potentials. Nevertheless, provided adjustments are made to Vygotsky’s genetic method to incorporate time space compression, the mutual presence of the genetic domains, and the glonacal heuristic, Vygotskian theory continues to be useful in socially situated investigations of educational development and transformation,and opens another way into the global, for example investigation of the role of global mediation in learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Vygotsky
  • sociocultural theory
  • genetic method
  • mediation
  • globalization
  • global theory

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