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ABS080 - Reverberated dialogue to understand the senpai/kohai system - Board 21

2.6 Dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge
Part of:
11:00 AM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
This study employs reverberated dialogue to understand Japanese hierarchical social relations, focusing on the following three concepts: Bakhtin’s voice, Wenger’s cultural transparency, and Lave and Wenger’s continuity-displacement contradiction. While these theoretical perspectives differ from each other, they are crucial for exploring the possibility of a multivoiced ontogenetic dimension. First, I introduce Bakhtin’s concept of voice, according to which an utterance is produced by a speaking subject with a specific viewpoint. Second, I discuss Wenger’s concept of cultural transparency, which refers to the horizon that delimits the surface of an area of visibility. This transparency emphasizes the relational and perspectival character of accessing in practice and is useful for grasping the culturally mediated nature of existence. I use this perspective to show that cultural transparency can be associated with the ontological perspective of voice. Third, I explain Lave and Wenger’s continuity-displacement contradiction, which describes a socially constituted system of differentiated ways of belonging and being within a community. The continuity-displacement contradiction also refers to the different ways newcomers and veterans establish and maintain identity conflicts and generate competing viewpoints on the practice and its development. In particular, according to social hierarchy, multiple voices would cross with each other.
Finally, I analyze Japanese social relations and the dialogue between senpai and kohai within the framework of reverberated dialogue. I argue for both the potential and the limitations of using reverberated dialogue to improve upon Bakhtin’s concept of dialogue.
Osaka Sangyo University
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