Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves

Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves BRONWYN DAVIES and ROM HARRE INTRODUCTION The idea for this paper emerged out ofa discussion about the problems inherent in the use of the concept of role in developing a social psychology of selfliood. We explore the idea that the concept of ‘positioning’ can be used to facilitate the thinking of linguistically oriented social analysts in ways that the use of the concept of ‘role’ prevented. I n particular the new concept helps focus attention on dynamic aspects of encounters in contrast to the way in which the use of ‘role’ serves to highlight static, formal and ritualistic aspects. The view of language in which positioning is to be understood is the immanentist view expounded by Harris (1982),in which language exists only as concrete occasions of language in use. La langue is an intellectualizing myth - only la parole is psychologically and socially real. This position is developed in contrast to the linguistic tradition in which ‘syntax’, ‘semantics’ and ‘pragmatics’ are used in a way that implies an abstract realm of causally potent entities shaping actual speech. In our analysis and our explanation, we invoke concepts such as ‘speech act’, ‘indexicality’ and ‘context’, that is the concepts central http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour Wiley

Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/positioning-the-discursive-production-of-selves-vFCZ9Kr3QH
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1990 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-8308
eISSN
1468-5914
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-5914.1990.tb00174.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BRONWYN DAVIES and ROM HARRE INTRODUCTION The idea for this paper emerged out ofa discussion about the problems inherent in the use of the concept of role in developing a social psychology of selfliood. We explore the idea that the concept of ‘positioning’ can be used to facilitate the thinking of linguistically oriented social analysts in ways that the use of the concept of ‘role’ prevented. I n particular the new concept helps focus attention on dynamic aspects of encounters in contrast to the way in which the use of ‘role’ serves to highlight static, formal and ritualistic aspects. The view of language in which positioning is to be understood is the immanentist view expounded by Harris (1982),in which language exists only as concrete occasions of language in use. La langue is an intellectualizing myth - only la parole is psychologically and socially real. This position is developed in contrast to the linguistic tradition in which ‘syntax’, ‘semantics’ and ‘pragmatics’ are used in a way that implies an abstract realm of causally potent entities shaping actual speech. In our analysis and our explanation, we invoke concepts such as ‘speech act’, ‘indexicality’ and ‘context’, that is the concepts central

Journal

Journal for the Theory of Social BehaviourWiley

Published: Mar 1, 1990

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off