Hubert J.M. Hermans
University of Nijmegen, Department of Clinical and Personality Psychology, The Netherlands

E-mail:hhermans@psych.kun.nl
Website: http://www.socsci.kun.nl/~hermans/index.html

 

THE DIALOGICAL SELF: STATE OF THE ART

 

Ten years ago, the first psychological article on the dialogical self was published in the American Psychologist (Hermans, Kempen, & Van Loon 1992). Since then, many authors have explicitly addressed the multivoicedness and dialogicality of the mind or have done work that has been directly relevant to the gist of the concept. It is my intention to bring much of this work together and to show how it can contribute to the further development of the theoretical framework. Some of the fields to which dialogical self theory has contributed or has at least the potential to contribute are: prelinguistic dialogues in infancy, assimilation and integration of excluded voices in the process of psychotherapy, analysis of 'good conversation', the importance of sublinguistic and inchoate dialogues in relation to recent developments in brain research, schizophrenia as a collapse of the dialogical self, pros and cons of a post-modernist view on the self, new trends in the relationships between culture and self, new identities in cyberspace, the development of a moral self, the significance of an extended self in 'deep ecology', new trends in addiction research, a social and dialogical view of emotions, and the dissolution of the myth of the unified self in psychoanalysis. Such and other topics are helpful to develop dialogical self theory as a conceptual framework that transcends the boundaries between disciplines and subdisciplines so that the possibility of a 'dialogical science' can be explored.

Hermans, H.J.M., Kempen, H.J.G., & Van Loon (1992). The dialogical self: Beyond individualism and rationalism. American Psychologist, 47, 23-33.