Conceptualizing the future direction of development is one of the major challenges of all developmental views on psychological functioning. Since dialogicality constitutes the center of development, it requires careful conceptual analysis. This symposium brings together specialists from cultural and developmental psychology involved in the question of how the systemic and historical nature of the dialogical perspective deals with this issue, in other words, how dialogue unites not only the past but also the future as a necessary condition. The four presentations within this symposium aim to illustrate four different dimensions to analyze the projection of dialogue into the future. Valsiner explores the dynamic systems' notion of attractor state through a formal analysis of this state as part of a broader conception of dialogical processes. Lyra, focusing on the development of early communicative systems, discusses the concept of historicity as it allows for a projection into the future of dialogical abbreviated partners' exchanges. Chandler explores the construction of identity through the analysis of self-dialogues of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth facing suicide, hereby highlighting the role that linking the past with the future plays in identity construction. Finally Lightfoot takes the adolescent risk-taking as a moral enterprise that allows for a meaning-making activity based on moral discourse dialogues that frame the future self-emergence and development.


Discussant: Marc Lewis, University of Toronto, Canada


Jaan Valsiner, Clark University, Worcester (MA), USA
The concept of attractor: How dynamic systems theory deals with future


Maria C.D.P. Lyra, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife-PE, Brazil
Dialogical abbreviated exchanges:
Historicity and the future in early communicative systems


Michael Chandler, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Reconstructing the self in the face of cultural loss:
Suicide and the construction of life trajectories in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth


Cynthia Lightfoot, Pennsylvania State University, Media (PA), USA
Adolescent risk-taking as moral dialogue