Space and time in the dialogical self: personal chronotopes in life history data

Raggatt, Peter (2010) Space and time in the dialogical self: personal chronotopes in life history data. In: Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Dialogical Self, pp. 1-25. From: 6th International Conference on the Dialogical Self, September 30 - 3 October 2010, Athens, Greece. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Bakhtin (1990) observed that looking into a mirror can be a ghostly and unsettling experience. In the image before us we see, simultaneously, both the object of the other's view, and that of our own authoring. William James called the image the 'Me' in contradistinction to the 'I'. But as Bakhtin observed, there is an unsettling absence in the mirror experience because the mirror furnishes no context for authorship. Both the mirror experience and the act of authoring are analogous in this sense because in both experiences there is a fundamental multiplicity. In both experiences we employ our capacity for 'distancing' – that is, we take up a second position, or a third-person perspective on the self. But in both circumstances we also need a third position, a context that is provided by the others’ view. This third position is conspicuously absent in the mirror experience. From this premise, I argue that questions about the emergence of the dialogical self must address processes of symbolic mediation involving dialogical triads of the original form: I-Me-Other. In psychology, the idea of 'thirdness' has been used in a wide range of triadic models that draw on principles of semiotic mediation, first proposed by C. S. Peirce in the United States, and by Vygotsky and others in Europe. In my talk, links are developed between these principles and the role of 'mediating objects' as third-term semiotic markers for our multiplicity. A distinctive feature of dialogical self theory is that it is spatial in its structural organization - there is no centre as such, but rather a terrain of decentralized 'locations' from which to speak. At the same time, however, our positioning must have continuity in the temporal domain. Hence, the dialogical self can be thought of as organized within a temporal-spatial matrix. Bakhtin called such a matrix the "chronotope" (meaning literally, 'time-space'). Using case material from life histories, the emergence of personal chronotopes in individuals is illustrated. I argue that the personal chronotope is comprised of a temporally organized string or sequence of dialogical triads. Each triad is defined by an I-position, a counter-position, and an ambiguous third as mediator.

Item ID: 15156
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Additional Information:

Keynote Address at the 6th International Conference on the Dialogical Self, Athens, Greece, September 30 - 3 October 2010

Date Deposited: 16 May 2011 06:24
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 75%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 25%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 75%
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