After the dialogical self, what?

Theodore D. Kemper


The idea of the dialogical self is a large step forward in linking the self to the social environment which forms it and provides its content. However, using an empirically-based, widely-known model of social relations, I propose that the concept of the self may be an extraneous item in the toolbox of dialogical-self theorists and practitioners. Rather, since the self is created by the social milieu, it may make sense to work with that milieu directly rather than with its product. This proposal has particular import for psychotherapy and I address some specifics of this claim to therapists.


self; dialogic self; social relations; status; power; reference groups

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