Expressing and legitimating ‘actionable knowledge’ from within ‘the moment of acting’
As living, embodied beings, communication begins in, and continues with, our living, spontaneous, expressive-responsive (gestural), bodily activities that occur in the meetings between ourselves and the others and othenesses around us. It is by our 1st-person expressions that we influence the actions of others — our tellings are much more important than our reportings . Thus, as I see it, abstract and general theories are of little help to us in the unique living of our unique lives together, either as ordinary people, as professional practitioners, or as action researchers. On the other hand, however, the specific words of others, uttered as ‘reminders’ at a timely moments within an ongoing practice, drawing out attention to unnoticed features of the practice, can be a crucial influence in developing and refining it further. In this paper I distinguish between two kinds of speech/writing: ‘withness (dialogic)’ -talk and ‘aboutness (monologic)’ -talk . Crucial in this distinction is our spontaneous, expressive, living, bodily responsiveness. While monological aboutness-talk is unresponsive to the activities of the others around us, dialogical withness-talk is not. In being spontaneously responsive both to the expressions of others, as well as our own, as I show in the paper, it engenders in us both unique anticipations as to what-next might happen along with, so to speak, ‘action-guiding advisories’ as to what-next we might do — a feature that is of central relevance for action research.
Keywords: action research, dialogue, expression, practitioners, responsiveness, ‘withness’-talk
Published online: 13 July 2004
Cited by 8 other publications
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