Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 419–431 | Cite as

A Dialogic Vaccine to Bridge Opposing Cultural Viewpoints Based on Bakhtin’s Views on Dialogue and Estrangement

  • Atsushi Tajima
Regular Article


Today, we face global conflicts between opposing ideologies that may be described in terms of cultural viewpoints and value judgments. It is difficult for individuals to determine whether ideologies are right or wrong because each ideology has its own worldview and sense of justice. Psychologists have an urgent mission to defuse the likelihood of fatal clashes between opposing cultural perspectives (ideologies), and to propose paradigms for peaceful coexistence. This paper examines the series of papers (Oh, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 51, 2017; Sakakibara, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 51, 2017; Watanabe, Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 51, 2017) contributed to this volume that investigate the effects of high school and university educational programs promoting productive dialogue aimed at bridging, or transcending, conflicting perspectives among Japanese, Chinese, and Korean students. Here, I have evaluated the capacity of these educational programs to coordinate opposing cultural ideologies using the framework of Bakhtin’s theories of dialogue and estrangement. Bakhtin viewed discourse with others who had opposing viewpoints as an opportunity to learn to overcome the one-sidedness of ideology, which ensues from automatic value judgments made by each speaker according to their culture, and he affirmed the value of flexible attitudes toward opposing viewpoints. In this paper, I review Bakhtin’s theories relating to communication in a context of different cultural viewpoints, assess the general values of the educational practices mentioned above, and propose new concepts for applying these methods to other educational fields in the future using Bakhtin’s theoretical viewpoints.


Intercultural communications Dialogue Estrangement Dialogic vaccine 



This work was supported by KAKENHI Grant Number JP26780353 from The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) / Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not describe any study with human participants performed by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Global StudiesTokyo University of Foreign StudiesTokyoJapan

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