Vol. 4:3 (2014) ► pp.341–356
The good, the bad, and the ugly
The co-construction of identities in dialog
In this paper, I will present a dialogic view of identity. I argue that identity is not a static description of who or what a person or thing is rather than the outcome of, what I call, a dialog of cultures. In a broad sense, identities are negotiated or, co-constructed, against the background of different perspectives between the dialog partners. From this point of view, identity construction is a joint activity with no one having full control over its outcome. In contrast, identities rather “happen” in dialog. The analysis of selected dialogs from a German talk show will illustrate how the co-construction of different identities works, giving rise to a re-definition of identity in genuinely dialogic terms.
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