Volume 10   Number 2     Fall 2017

Understanding Temporalization by the Activity of Historical Thinking: Dialogical Self Theory and Social Representation Theory

Daniel Moreau
University of Quebec in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Canada

pp. 161-184

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to articulate the dialogical self theory (DST) and the social representation theory (SRT) so that the conceptual tools required for the analysis of the temporalization process are implemented. This theoretical endeavour are done in terms of a transformative approach to SRT, which examines temporality according to a dialectical approach to social practices. A dialectical approach apprehends the objects of social representation by the processes of anchoring and objectivation, explaining the cognitive activity behind specific group practices (Abric, 1994; Jodelet, 1989). Analysing the objectivation process of time leads to an understanding of the production of different historical narratives in the context of social practices. As such, SRT complies with Moscoviciís (1961) perspective, aiming to understand the cognitive activity underlying collective action in the transformation of social reality. This approach stands out of the slipstream of Durkheim (1898), mapping out the cultural, social and political landmarks accounting for the process of reproducing social and institutional structures. According to this view, individual action is pursued under a limited range of possibilities given by structural and historical regularities (Berthelot, 1990). For Moscovici (1961), SRT rather considers the wide array of possibilities allowing the identification of representational structures. In this respect, I refer to the theory of the central core and its peripheral system proposed by Abric (1994) to describe both the foundations and variations of the social representation of historical time. First, I tackle the DST and its conceptual implications regarding teaching and learning history. Second, I address the objectivation of time involved in the process of subjectification with reference to SRT. Finally, these two theories enable me to delineate the nature of the activity involved in historical thinking, behind the process of the production of history


Keywords: historical thinking, teaching, learning, social representation theory, dialogical self theory