Volume 2   Number 1      Fall 2007

Constructing Organization Through Multiplicity: A Microgenetic Analysis of Self-Organization in the Dialogical Self
Carla Cunha
University of Minho & ISMAI, Portugal
pp. 287-316   (pdf)
ABSTRACT. The self is in a constant process of becoming that demands the construction of “sameness” and identity throughout the irreversibility of time and changing experience (Valsiner, 2002b). Thus, self-organization is the constant and necessary task of a changing self. Occasionally, this dynamic organization may lead to recursive and inflexible patterns implicated in a perpetuating personal problem. The “Identity Positions Interview” (Gonçalves & Cunha, 2006) was designed to elicit dialogical processes while discussing a personal problem. This allows different dialogues to occur: 1) the actual dialogues from the interaction participant-researcher; 2) the imagined dialogues of the participant and others about the problem (e.g. “What would your mother say about the problem?”); 3) the imagined dialogues between Present and Future possible-selves (e.g. “What would the Future say to you?”). These different phases were inspired in therapeutic techniques that call upon the perspectives of social others or temporal movements as semiotic devices used to generate diversity and novelty in the present. Following a dialogical framework, two case-studies are presented to illustrate the emergence of novelty and difference and its regulation into recursive self-dynamics at a microgenetic-level. This idiographic study has two aims: a) to highlight the dynamism of I-positions within the Dialogical Self, and b) to depict the emergence of novelty, self-innovation and re-organization.
Keywords: dialogical self, development, microgenesis, self-regulation