Bakhtin’s realism and embodiment: Towards a revision of the dialogical self

How can we understand socially constituted selfhood?  H. Hermans has addressed this question with the notion of the Dialogical Self that he draws from the philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. We focus on Bakhtin’s discussion of realism in relation to how he has been interpreted by Hermans. This notion of realism (which we coined ‘‘expressive realism’’) highlights how sociality is inseparably related to embodied experience, thus making way for a sociocultural psychology that takes into account life as it is experientially lived. We point out how Hermans’ vision of the Dialogical Self neglects such embodied experience. This discussion leads to the claim that Bakhtin sees the self as social insofar as our most primary embodied experience is social, where Hermans anchors the sociality of self in inter-subjective exchange. Accordingly, an extension of the Dialogical Self is offered through discussion of these points.



About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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