Mapping the dialogical self: Towards a rationale and method of assessment

Raggatt, Peter T.F. (2000) Mapping the dialogical self: Towards a rationale and method of assessment. European Journal of Personality, 14 (1). pp. 65-90.

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Abstract

It is widely believed that the well-adjusted individual has an integrated, coherent and autonomous 'core self' or 'ego identity'. In this paper it is argued that a 'multi-voiced' or 'dialogical self' provides a better model. In this model the self has no central core; rather, it is the product of alternative and often opposing narrative voices. Each voice has its own life story; each competes with other voices for dominance in thought and action; and each is constituted by a different set of affectively-charged attachments: to people, events, objects and our own bodies. It is argued that by exploring these attachments the dominant narrative voices of the self may be identified. A semi-structured interview protocol, the Personality Web, is introduced as a method for studying the dialogical self. In phase 1, 24 attachments are elicited in four categories: people (6), events (6), places and objects (8), and orientations to body parts (4). During interviewing, the history and meaning of each attachment is explored. In phase 2, participants were asked to group their attachments by strength of association into clusters, and multidimensional scaling was used to map the individual's 'web' of attachments. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the strategy of clustering attachments was shown to be successful as a means for empirically examining the dialogical self. Two case studies of midlife adults are described to illustrate the arguments and methods proposed.

Item ID: 12858
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: identity; personality; self concept
ISSN: 1099-0984
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 02:05
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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