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Towards dialogic epistemology: the problem of the text

Jones, Raya ORCID: 2017. Towards dialogic epistemology: the problem of the text. Qualitative Research 17 (4) , pp. 457-472. 10.1177/1468794116671986

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This article considers epistemological implications of Bakhtin’s dialogism. Bakhtin urged scholars in the human sciences to treat a text as having a voice of its own, to be attuned to its creativity and originality, and to resist conflating one’s image of the author with the actual person who has produced the text. Importing his ideas into the social sciences creates a site of tensions at the disciplines’ boundaries. Yet his characterisation of dialogue applies also to qualitative researchers’ interactions with nonfiction material. Bakhtin contended that a text as an utterance is a unique unrepeatable event; and that a voice is immanent in how the text itself operates: its placement in a dialogical sequence (answerability), its plan (purpose) and the realisation of the plan. Attention to these dynamics could constitute a formative step in the epistemic process of qualitative research, as concrete examples illustrate. A concept of a ‘dialogic triangle’ (utterance, response and their interrelation) is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: answerability, Bakhtin, dialogism, otherness, voice
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-7941
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 12:14

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