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What are we to make of Bakhtin? Nearly 20 years after his death, the full richness of his ideas has still not been digested. For many people working in the sicial sciences, he remains a mysterious and impenetrable writer. Many are conscious that his ideas are relevant for sociology and cultural studies, but would be hard pressed to give chapter and verse. Others regard Bakhtin as a figure who contributed to the literary and philologic fields of study. This accessible and thoughtful text aims to demonstrate the relevance of Bakhtin to the human sciences. It argues that most of the current literature has been characterized by a superficial appropriation of Bakhtinian ideas and neologisms. What has been neglected is a serious engagement with his core ...

A Bakhtinian Psychology: From out of the Heads of Individuals and into the Dialogues between Them
A Bakhtinian psychology: From out of the heads of individuals and into the dialogues between them
JohnShotter and MichaelBillig

It is an unfortunate misunderstanding (a legacy of rationalism) to think that truth can only be the truth that is composed of universal moments; that the truth of a situation is precisely that which is repeatable and constant in it. – Mikhail Bakhtin1

‘Language lives’, says Bakhtin, ‘only in the dialogic interaction of those who make use of it’ (1984: 183). Thus the move to the dialogical in psychology leads us more towards a focus on people's social practices, rather than on what is supposed to be occurring within their individual heads. Our ...

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