Archive for the ‘Bakhtin’ Category
Dialogical Self Theory provides a comprehensive social-scientific theory that incorporates the deep implications of the process of globalization, and its impact on individual development. Hubert Hermans and Agnieszka Hermans-Konopka present a new and compelling view of the historical changes in perceptions of social realities, and how these changes affected motivation, emotion, leadership, and conflict resolution. They detail the improvement of dialogical relationships both within the self and between individuals, groups, and cultures, providing evidence from everyday life. The book addresses a variety of problem areas that are analyzed in new and unexpected ways: the pros and cons of traditional, modern, and post-modern models of self, the role of emotions, power and dominance, motivation, leadership, and conflict resolution. This book will be of interest to scholars in a wide range of fields including psychology and sociology.
Read also: Dialogical self
What we need, I want to claim, is not knowledge in the form of theoretical representations, but of a very different, much more practical kind. My concern today, then, is with the conditions, the relations between us, that might make possible a more dialogical and involved, less monological and distanced, stance toward our construction of knowledge. Thus, a part of what I want to explore, is talk of a very different kind to theoretical talk, talk to do with a very different kind of knowing: that which ‘floats’ around in an uncertain way within the everyday conversational background to our more institutional and disciplinary lives, on the boundaries of, or one in between, our separate disciplines and orderly discourses. It is a special kind of knowing that – although it has been more properly recognized and identified in the past – has in more recent times been forgotten. I shall call it a knowing of the third kind. For: i) It is not theoretical knowledge (a “knowing-that” in Ryle’s terminology) – for it is knowledge that is only present to us in our everyday social practices; however, ii) it is not simply a technical knowledge of a skill or craft (a “knowing-how“) either – for it is a joint kind of knowledge, a knowledge-held-in-common with others, and judged by them in the process of its use. iii) It is its own kind of knowledge, sui generis, that cannot be reduced to either of the other two.
The Bakhtin Circle was a 20th century school of Russian thought which centered on the work of Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin. The circle addressed philosophically the social and cultural issues posed by the Russian Revolution and its degeneration into the Stalin dictatorship. Their work focused on the centrality of questions of significance in social life in general and artistic creation in particular, examining the way in which language registered the conflicts between social groups. The key views of the circle are that linguistic production is essentially dialogic, formed in the process of social interaction, and that this leads to the interaction of different social values being registered in terms of reaccentuation of the speech of others. While the ruling stratum tries to posit a single discourse as exemplary, the subordinate classes are inclined to subvert this monologic closure. In the sphere of literature, poetry and epics represent the centripetal forces within the cultural arena whereas the novel is the structurally elaborated expression of popular ideologiekritik, the radical criticism of society.
Dialogical Action Research – About therapeutic listening, creating space for voices to emerge and to be heard
This research is an inquiry into the role of listening in therapy. The author was curious about the relation between a client’s feeling of being heard, a listening therapist and emerging new voices. She invited this client to collaborate through what she called a Dialogical Action Research. The present work is the result of several long conversations, both therapy conversations and research conversations, between the client and the author, as well as the author’s own reflections.
Listening is thought of in terms of a transforming process whereby the person you speak with is influenced through the way you listen. Attentive listening on the part of the therapist offers the client a unique opportunity to develop her inner voices and let them be expressed. This may create new self stories, and less rigid internal and external dialogues.
Theory and the contribution of others are in this project used as ideas to be placed in a ‘ voice-resource-bank’ for later use during the research process. The Russian philosopher Michael Bakhtin’s description of the dialogue, is a main frame of reference for the report, both in terms of the therapeutic relationship, methodology and method.
Organizing multi-voiced organizations – action guiding anticipations and the continuous creation of novelty
Bakhtin’s ideas of polyphony and dialogism are explored as ways of organising our own human affairs. Traditionally, language has been thought of as an already established, self-contained system of linguistic communication that sets out a set of rules or social conventions that people make use of in expressing themselves. In this account, what I will call the intellectualist, Cartesian account of language, people understand the linguistic representations contained or encoded in each other’s sentences. However, another account – an emotional-volitional account articulated by Bakhtin, along with a number of others, such as Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty – is of a much more dynamic, participatory, relational kind. In it, language and the world are intertwined in a chiasmic relation with each other, in which we are shaped just as much, if not more, by the world, as the world by us. Thus, to switch to this very different view of language is also to switch to a very different view of the world in which we live: it is to see it as a living, dynamic, indivisible world of events that is also still coming into being. In this view, we understand another person’s utterances in terms of the bodily responses, the felt tendencies, they spontaneously arouse in us, responses that relate or orient us both toward them and toward events occurring in our shared surroundings.
Drawing on the works of Martin Buber and Mikhail Bakhtin, the author explores the roles that dialogue, laughter, and spontaneity play in the education of the whole person.
Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of dialogue and carnival, and in connection with the ideas of Martin Buber, Sidorkin explores the issues of difference and identity in a very postmodern view of the self. He addresses the questions of what it really means to be human, and, likewise, what truly makes a good school.
He takes dialogue beyond the framework of discourse, making it an end in itself rather than a means toward better education. His sojourn into a fifth-grade classroom shows that basic forms of classroom talk, which are normally thought to be distracting or educationally useless, are proved to be valuable dialogical moments of discovery in schooling.
This book consists of four essays of Bakhtin‘s “Middle Period“, two short and two longer works which have been arranged, according to complexity, with the most accessible essay first and the most difficult last. Cooincidentally, this is also the reverse order in which they were written. Some brief notes on the four Essays:
1. “Epic and Novel” dated 1941 – A rather straightforward comparison of the Novel and the Epic. Its aim is to show the distinctiveness of the Novel. This can be seen as a transitional essay between the Chronotope Essay and the Bildungsroman Fragment. It is well organized and introduces several characteristics unique to the novel such as three-dimensionality, imagery and openendedness.
2. “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse” dated 1940 – This is in essence a brief history of the novel according to Bakhtin. It concentrates on style, theory and as the title states, discourse, beginning with Greek works and going to the Renaissance. Conceptually this is strikingly similar to Erich Auerbach’s “Mimesis”. This essay is incomplete.
3. “Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel” dated 1937-38 – Another long (175 page) discussion on the distinctiveness of the novel. The concept of the Chronotope is introduced simply as “time space” and the essay seeks to show its use from the Greek Romance to the novel of the 19th Century. Bakhtin inserts here also a discussion of the “Rabelaisian Chrontope”, the role of the clown, etc. Special emphasis is also given to the Blidungsroman. This essay, it seems to me, is essentially, Bakhtin’s own favorite Reading list in which he experiments with his own concept of Chronotope, skillfully fitting it to each work. Despite its digressions it is basically a chronological presentation.
4. “Discourse in the Novel” dated 1934-35 – Another lengthy essay which is in essence Bakhtin’s discussion of his philosophy of language. This essay also seems to be unfinished. It consists of five distinct parts in which Bakhtin experiments with different approaches to discourse in the novel. As is often the case with Bakhtin, this essay is also open-ended.
Antonio Gramsci and his concept of hegemony have permeated social and political theory, cultural studies, education studies, literary criticism, international relations, and post-colonial theory. The centrality of language and linguistics to Gramsci’s thought, however, has been wholly neglected. In Gramsci’s Politics of Language, Peter Ives argues that a university education in linguistics and a preoccupation with Italian language politics were integral to the theorist’s thought. Ives explores how the combination of Marxism and linguistics produced a unique and intellectually powerful approach to social and political analysis.
To explicate Gramsci’s writings on language, Ives compares them with other Marxist approaches to language, including those of the Bakhtin Circle, Walter Benjamin, and the Frankfurt School, including Jurgen Habermas. From these comparisons, Ives elucidates the implications of Gramsci’s writings, which, he argues, retained the explanatory power of the semiotic and dialogic insights of Bakhtin and the critical perspective of the Frankfurt School, while at the same time foreshadowing the key problems with both approaches that post-structuralist critiques would later reveal. Gramsci’s Politics of Language fills a crucial gap in scholarship, linking Gramsci’s writings to current debates in social theory and providing a framework for a thoroughly historical-materialist approach to language.
Dialogue has suffered a long eclipse in the history of philosophy and the history of rhetoric but has enjoyed a rebirth in the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martin Buber, and Mikhail Bakhtin. Among twentieth-century figures, Bakhtin took a special interest in the history of the dialogue form. This book explores Bakhtin’s understanding of Socratic dialogue and the notion that dialogue is not simply a way of persuading others to accept our ideas, but a way of holding ourselves, and others, accountable for all of our thoughts, words, and actions. In supporting this premise, Bakhtin challenges the traditions of argument and persuasion handed down from Plato and Aristotle, and he offers, as an alternative, a dialogical rhetoric that restructures the traditional relationship between speakers and listeners, writers and readers, as a mutual testing, contesting, and creating of ideas. The author suggests that Bakhtin’s dialogical rhetoric is not restricted to oral discourse, but is possible in any medium, including written, graphic, and digital.
I have been centrally influenced in the dialogical approach I take to interpersonal communication, not by the theories of Wittgenstein, Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Voloshinov, but by certain specific utterances or expressions in their writings. As I see it, all communication begins in, and continues with, our living, spontaneous, expressive-responsive (gestural), bodily activities that occur in the meetings between ourselves and the others and othernesses around us. Indeed, as living, embodied beings, we cannot not be responsive in some fashion to the expressions of others (spoken, written, or otherwise), and to other kinds of events, occurring in our immediate surroundings. Thus, as I see it, abstract and general theories are of little help to each of us in the unique living of our unique lives together, either as ordinary people or as professional practitioners. While the specific words of another person, uttered as a ‘reminder’ at a timely moment as to the character of our next step within an ongoing practical activity, can be a crucial influence in its development and refinement. Thus in this paper, I outline a distinction between ‘withness‘ and ‘aboutness-thinking’: Withness (dialogic)-thinking is a form of reflective interaction that involves coming into living contact with an other’s living being, with their utterances, their bodily expressions, their words, their ‘works’. It gives rise, not to a ‘seeing’, for what is ‘sensed’ is invisible; nor to an interpretation, for our responses occur spontaneously and directly in our living encounters with an other’s expressions; but to a ‘shaped’ and ‘vectored’ sense of our moment-by-moment changing placement in our current surroundings – engendering in us both unique anticipations as to what-next might happen along with, so to speak, ‘action-guiding advisories’ as to what-next we might do. Aboutness (monologic)-thinking, however, is unresponsive to another’s expressions; it works simply in terms of a thinker’s ‘theoretical pictures’ – but, even when we ‘get the picture’, we still have to interpret it, and to decide, intellectually, on a right course of action.