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Interchange

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 281–302 | Cite as

Task of the teaching life: Self through bakhtinian dialogue and ideological engagement

  • Douglas McKnight
Articles

Abstract

This article describes Mikhail Bakhtin’s 20th century work on dialogue as it may serve one engaged in the teaching as a vocation and existential pursuit rather than as a job or profession. Dialogue, as theorized by Bakhtin, within the pedagogical real, potentially becomes a mod of being through which the individual engages in the project of selfhood, a task basic to the human enterprise. For Bakhtin, dialogue was in part a structure within and through which we come to consciousness and give flesh and meaning to our existence. According to Bakhtin, the structure of self is dialogical and unfinalizable, meaning that each individual comes to consciousness through dialogue with some other. From a Bakhtinian perspective, the, selfhood as a dialogical formation constitutes a fundamental relation by which we much participate without end, making dialogue an unavoidable social activity immersed in language.

Keywords

Bakhtin dialogue existentialism self didactic teachers ideology language monologue discourse 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas McKnight
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Secondary Curriculum, Teaching and Learning College of EducationUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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