Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 299–321 | Cite as

The Dialogical Dance: Self, Identity Construction, Positioning and Embodiment in Tango Dancers

  • Luca TateoEmail author
Regular Article


Argentine tango is a complex phenomenon, involving music, dancing and lifestyle, today practiced by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. This is already a good reason for psychology to make it an object of study. Besides, studying tango could also help to develop a dialogical way of theorizing and a dialogical methodology, taking into account both the genetic historical and eso-systemic dimensions and the individual experiencing. As any other product of human psyche, tango creates an universal and abstract representation of life starting from very situated and individual acts. Such institutionalized representation, which is at the same time epistemological, ethical and aesthetical, becomes a tradition -that is the framework distanced from the individual immediate experience- within which the meaning of the experiences to be make sense in return. To illustrate this epistemological and methodological stance, a history of the development of tango as dialogical social object first is sketched. Then, an ethnographic study about the Self actuation in a community of Italian tango dancers is presented. Results show how participants construct and actuate their identities in a dialogue between their I-positions inside and outside tango community.


Argentine tango Self actuation Identity Embodied knowledge Dialogic epistemology I-positioning 



This work has been funded by the Marie Curie IEF-2012 grant “EPICS. Epistemology in psychological science, the heritage of Giambattista Vico and the cultural psychology” at Aalborg University (Denmark).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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