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superaddressee, context, inner and outer dialogues, conscious and unconscious, monolog versus dialogue.

4.4.1. The relationship between language and the experience of self Bakhtin’s (1984) dialogism implies a consistent interest in ‘the other’ and in what happens between people in communication. He claimed that life itself is dialogic; to live is to participate in an open-ended dialogue. To be is to communicate. The human being has not an inner sovereign territory; it is always on the border, ‘looking inside himself, he looks into the eyes of another or with the eyes of another’ (ibid., p. 287).

What really matters in the development of the self, Vygotsky (1986) says is to have command of ”tools and signs that mediate them; and language is the tool”. Individuality is always created in a social process. When telling the stories of our lives, Bakhtin says (Morson & Emerson, 1990), we do not mediate direct experience or memory but we tell stories through the imagined other’s value and intonations. Each story is composed of several independent voices in constant dialogue with each other; the self is in this way continually authored and consists of many voices, the self is polyphonic.

The self emerges Anderson (1997) claims, through different stories dependent on the social context and the conversations that take place within these contexts. Roy Schafer (quoted in Anderson 1997) consider the self as a ‘a manifestation of human action, the action of speaking about one self…the process of the telling of the story holds the opportunity for change’ (p. 223).

4.4.2. Addressivity, receptivity, utterance and double voice In dialogical conversations the language is structured between the speaker and the listener, Bakhtin (1981) explains. The utterance is the decisive element in verbal communication; it has both an addressivity and receptivity. And it has a double voice; everything said or listened to is done with a view toward the other. We can never speak out of a vacuum or into one. In addressing someone we will be conscious of whom we are addressing and how he or she might respond. This will affect the way you speak, which details to choose and which values you appeal to. Voloshinov (1973) describes the word as a product of the mutual relationship between the speaker and the listener, a bridge between you and the other.


Dialogical Action Research  

Dialogical Action Research - About therapeutic listening, creating space for voices to emerge and to be heard

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