The dialogical self in Athens

Three years ago I went to the 5th  International Conference on THE DIALOGICAL SELF in Cambridge UK. Next week, the 6th International Conference will take place in Athens Greece  (30-9/3-10 2010). Gathering over 100 researchers from different fields, the conference programme shows that the « discursive aspect » of the notion will be more present than during the Cambridge conference. I found the first conference to be extremely interesting, esp. as I got acquainted with many (social) psychologists, who were interested in the same research topics. I also remember feeling extremely frustrated during presentations and keynotes because of the lack of reflection on research methodology. It seemed to me that while people positioned their research within complexity, fluidity, DIALOGISM and multiple voices, the ways data were analysed seemed rather monological and often deterministic. But this is not exclusive  to the field. In fact, in most of the domains I am interested in, the same issue pops up (applied linguistics, intercultural communication and education, etc.). In response to this, a colleague from Stirling University, Alex Gillespie and I are organising a symposium at the conference (Saturday). It is called « Methodologies for Dialogism and the Dialogical Self. Interdisciplinary approaches ».

Description of the symposium: Theoretical work on dialogism and the dialogical self has moved ahead of methodological advances. Existent methodologies are saturated with an individualism which is not only poorly suited to study dialogical phenomena, but which actively obscure dialogical phenomena. What we want to do is bring together scholars who are pushing the boundaries of dialogical analysis, and to work towards the identification of a heterogeneous collection of tools for analysis. This interdisciplinary symposium will focus upon how to analyse data, with varied examples forming the basis for discussion and debate. One burning issue that will be addressed during the symposium is: are there any tools that can help us to really grasp the complexity of dialogism or are we doomed to remain within “pseudo-dialogism”?


Fred Dervin

Fred Dervin travaille en Finlande, principalement à l’Université de Turku dans le sud-ouest du pays. Il est HDR en sociologie (spécialité: multiculturalisme) et en communication et éducation interculturelles. Ses intérêts de recherche sont nombreux. Il a travaillé, entre autres, sur la notion d’identité dans différents contextes de rencontres dites interculturelles (mobilités académiques, couples binationaux, didactique des langues). Il propose également une critique de ce qu’il appelle les « impostures de l’interculturel », notamment par l’analyse de textes scientifiques qui affirment se placer dans une lignée critique de l’interculturel mais qui au niveau des méthodes demeurent descriptives, donc de surface. Dervin publie souvent sur ces thématiques.

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1 réponse

  1. Marie-Anne Paveau dit :

    Je suis totalement en accord avec ce terme de « pseudo-dialogisme ». Si effectivement on observe les données, c’est-à-dire la réalité des productions verbales, qui doivent inclure à mon avis les perceptions, les émotions et même, dans une certaine mesure, les intentions, alors effectivement le dialogisme n’est plus cette notion lisse et évidente, disciplinarisée par des dizaines d’années d’applications, mais un concept particulièrement enchevêtré. Il y a fort à parier d’ailleurs que dans cet enchevêtrement on trouve aussi quelque chose qui ressemble à du… monologisme. Bon voyage Fred !