Posts Tagged ‘dialogical’
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.
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.
Alone among Frankfurt School critical theorists, Habermas has critically appropriated pragmatist motifs. Although the Habermas-Dewey connection has been generally neglected, significant similarities as well as important differences appear in their work. Both theorists share, with Aristotle, Mead, Gadamer, and other dialogical thinkers, the view that human beings are primarily speaking and socially interacting creatures. Dewey asserted that society exists “by… and in communication,” praising it as “the most wonderful” of all activities “by the side of which transubstantiation pales“. For Habermas, too, communication is a central life activity and the fulcrum of his critical theory: “The utopian perspective of reconciliation and freedom is ingrained in the conditions of communicative sociation of individuals“.
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.
This chapter explores the macro-implications of the dialogical approach for a school as an organization. It describes a good school from the dialogical point of view. Dialogue does not happen through organization, and yet it is intimately connected to the world of regular social relations. In regard to school as a social organization, this means that the situations of school life that are hospitable to dialogical relations can be created through some specific provisions. I think school is viewed as an institution similar to a production plant, in other words, something with relatively simple and measurable outcome. It is not perceived as similar to a neighborhood or a community, where satisfaction of its members with the quality of life is the most important criterion. The social world of a school should be sufficiently complex for a human life to flourish. Learning in itself is an exposure to complexity.