Volume 9   Number 1     Fall 2015

Children as Carers for the Siblings in Indian Families: Using Dialogical Self Theory
   To Examine Children's Narratives

Shipra Suneja
Nandita Chaudhary
Bhanumathi Sharma
University of Delhi, India

pp. 97-114

ABSTRACT. Childrenís sense of self and others emerges from the daily activities they participate in and the cultural roles they play. They are continually engaged in dialogue with the self and with others, deeply nurturing and nurtured by the personal and cultural constructs of their figured worlds. In the telling of their personal experiences, they reveal and reinforce their personal selves in multiple manifestations. In this paper, we draw upon Bakhtinís notion of dialogism and social language and Hermansís concept of multivoicedness and the dialogical self to understand how children see themselves in various roles and how these roles both reflect and construct their socio-cultural context. The care of children by children in the Indian community forms a significant element of childhood and is integral to their role in the family and community. Childrenís experiences and expressions as carers for younger children will be examined in order to illustrate the emergence of dialogicality in self-processes and cultural meanings with specific reference to notions of the Indian self.


Keywords: children, carer, lifeworld, daily living, ecology, dialogical self, narratives