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Karsten, Andrea (2014): Writing: Movements of the self. In: Theory & Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4: pp. 479-503 [PDF, 268kB]


This article presents analyses of excerpts from a study on writing conducted in a dialogical perspective. The study’s material was collected by the auto-confrontation method: writers were videotaped during their work and afterwards confronted with their writing activities. Microanalysis of the material attends to how inner dialogues during writing are “refracted” (Voloshinov) in auto-confrontation. Bakhtin’s notion of the chronotope (time-and-space) as the main tool of analysis helps to discern the changing contexts and position constellations utterances are valid for. It thus sheds light on the positioning movements performed by the writing selves through language. The analyses show various utterance movements traversing the chronotopes involved, ranging from refractions of movements between the writers’ inner dialogues and their texts to retrospective imperatives with a developmental potential. This “dialogical volume” of speech activity presenting itself in writing can contribute to our understanding of the interplay of language and the self.

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