Bakhtin’s Triadic Epistemology and Ideologies of Dialogism

  • Sigmund Ongstad


Searching in the vast literature explaining and spreading Bakhtinian thoughts it is hard to find commentators who actually see Bakhtin’s work or any other work in the Bakhtin Circle as mainly triadic, that is, seeing utterance, genre and communication as dynamics of structure, reference and action. The overall dominant classification or framing of his work is dialogical (indeed in many different versions) and never in any deep sense triadic. This is quite thought-provoking given that probably his most quoted work, ‘The Problem Of Speech Genres’ (Bakhtin 1986) explicitly establishes a theory or framework of communicational triads.


Constitutive Feature Speech Genre Expressive Aspect Dialogical Perspective Bakhtin Circle 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • Sigmund Ongstad

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