“Teen Views of Sex:” Inter-animation of dialogues in a radio feature story produced by Mexican immigrant youth

Dana Walker


This paper proposes an analysis of dialogical processes in the creation of a radio feature story titled “Teen Views of Sex,” co-produced by Mexican immigrant high school students in the context of a Youth Radio and Radio Arts program. After describing the socio-cultural and curricular context of the program, I apply Zittoun and Grossen’s (2013) semiotic approach to dialogicality to describe the kinds of dialogue that took place during the interviews and subsequent reflections upon the feature story and production process. The types of dialogue examined include: actual dialogue, distant dialogue, auto-dialogue, dialogue between situations, and dialogue with material objects, or non-human actants. I explore how the inter-animation of these forms of dialogue gave rise to dialogic tensions, which may have created openings for shifts in identity positioning and an enhanced sense of agency for the youth in their personal and public lives.


dialogue, dialogicality, youth, youth radio, agency, identity, positioning, voice, multiliteracies, gender

Full Text:



Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1991). The Dialogic Imagination: Four essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Bloome, D., Carter, S. P., Christian, B. M., Otto, S., & Shuart-Faris, N. (2005). Discourse analysis and the study of classroom language and literacy events: A microethnographic perspective. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.

Castanheira, M. L., Crawford, T., Dixon, C., & Green, J. (2000). Interactional Ethnography: An Approach to Studying the Social Construction of Literate Practices. Linguistics and Education, 11(4), 353-400.

Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Freire, P. (2000/1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Freire, P. (2005). Education for critical consciousness. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Geertz, C. (1973/2000). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Gillespie, A., & Zittoun, T. (2013). Meaning making in motion: Bodies and minds moving through institutional and semiotic structures. Culture & Psychology, 19(4), 518–532.

Goodman. (2003). Teaching youth media: A critical guide to literacy, video production, and social change. New York: Teachers College Press.

Green, J., & Wallat, C. (Eds.). (1981). Ethnography and langugage in educational settings. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishers.

Grossen, M., & Orvig, A. S. (2011). Dialogism and dialogicality in the study of the self. Culture and Psychology, 17(4), 491-509.

Gumperz, J., & Hymes, D. (1972). Directions in sociolinguistics: The ethnography of communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Heath, S. B., & Smyth, L. (1994). The project of learning from the inner-city youth perspective. In F. Villarruel & R. Lerner (Eds.), Promoting community-based progams for socialization and learning. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Heath, S. B., & Smyth, L. (1999). Artshow: Youth and community development. Washington D.C.: Partners for Livable Communities.

Hermans, H. J. M. (1999). Dialogical thinking and self-innovation. Culture and Psychology, 5, 67-87.

Hermans, H. J. M. (2001). The Construction of a Personal Position Repertoire: Method and Practice. Culture & Psychology, 7(3), 323-365. doi:10.1177/1354067X0173005

Hermans, H. J. M., & Gieser, T. (2014). Introductory chapter: History, main tenets and core concepts of dialogical self theory. In H. J. M. Hermans & T. Gieser (Eds.), Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory (pp. 1-22). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hermans, H. J. M., & Hermans-Konopka, A. (2012). Dialogical self theory: Positioning and counter-positioning in global society. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Holland, D., & Eisenhart, M. (1990). Educated in Romance: Women, achievement, and college culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Holland, D., Lachicotte, W. J., Skinner, D., & Cain, C. (1998). Identity and agency in cultural worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Latour, B. (1996). On interobjectivity Mind, culture and activity, 3(4), 228-245.

Ligorio, M. B., & César, M. (Eds.). (2013). Interplays between dialogical learning and dialogical self. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Marková, I. (2006). On the ‘inner alter’ in dialogue. International Journal for Dialogical Science, 1(1), 125–147.

Marková, I., Linell, P., Grossen, M., & Salazar Orvig, A. (2007). Dialogue in focus groups: Exploring socially shared knowledge. London: Equinox.

Märtsin, M., Wagoner, B., Aveling, E., Kadianaki, I., & Whittaker, L. (Eds.). (2011). Dialogicality in focus:: Challenges to theory, method and application. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Matusov, E., Smith, M., Soslau, E., Marjanovic-Shane, A., & von Duyke, K. (2016). Dialogic education for and from authorial agency. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 4, 162-196. doi:10.5195/dpj.2016.172

Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (Eds.). (2004). Critical pedagogies and language learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Perret-Clermnot, A. N. (2004). Thinking Spaces of the Young. In A. N. Perret-Clermnot, C. Pontecorvo, L. B. Resnick, T. Zittoun, & B. Burge (Eds.), Joining society: Social interaction and learning in adolescence and youth (pp. 3-10). New York: Cambridge Univeristy Press.

Putney, L., Green, J., Dixon, C., Durán, R., & Yeager, B. (2000). Consequential progressions: Exploring collective-individual development in a bilingual classroom. In C. Lee & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Vygotskian perspectives on literacy research (pp. 86-126). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Resnick, L. B., Asterhan, C., & Clarke, S. (Eds.). (2015). Socializing Intelligence Through Academic Talk and Dialogue. Washington D.C.: American Educational Research Association.

Rochex, J. Y. (2004). La notion de rapport au savoir : convergences et débats théoriques. Pratiques Psychologiques, 10(2), 93-106. doi:10.1016/j.prps.2004.03.001

Segal, A., Pollak, I., & Lefstein, A. (2017). Democracy, voice and dialogic pedagogy: the struggle to be heard and heeded. Language and education, 31(1), 6-25. doi:10.1080/09500782.2016.1230124

Skinner, D., Valsiner, J., & Holland, D. (2001). Discerning the Dialogical Self: A Theoretical and Methodological Examination of a Nepali Adolescent's Narrative. Forum: qualitative social research, 2(3). Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/

Soep, E., & Chávez, V. (2010). Drop that knowledge: Youth radio stories. Berkeley, CA: UC Press.

Souto-Manning, M., & Smagorinsky, P. (2010). Freire, Vygotsky, and social justice theories in English education. In S. J. Miller & D. Kirkland (Eds.), Change matters: Critical essays on moving social justice research from theory to policy (pp. 41-51 ). New York: Peter Lang.

Spradley, J. (1979). The ethnographic interview. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

StoryCenter. (2009). Story Center. Retrieved from https://www.storycenter.org/

TheNewLondonGroup. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–92.

Valsiner, J. (2007b). Culture in minds and societies: Foundations of cultural psychology. New York: Sage Publications.

Walker, D. (2014). A pedagogy of powerful communication: Youth radio and radio arts in the multiliingual classroom. New York: Peter Lang.

Wegerif, R. (2013). Dialogic: Education for the Internet age New York: Routledge.

Wegerif, R. (2017). Dialogic Space, and why we need it. Retrieved from http://www.rupertwegerif.name/blog/dialogic-space-why-we-need-it

YouthRadio. (2016). Youth Radio for Teachers. Retrieved from https://youthradio.org/for-teachers/

Zittoun, T. (2006). Transitions: Development through symbolic resources. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Zittoun, T. (2008). Learning through transitions: The role of institutions. European Joumal of Psychology of Education, 23(2), 165-181.

Zittoun, T. (2012). On the emergence of the subject. integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 46(3), 259–273.

Zittoun, T. (2014). Three dimensions of dialogical movement. New Ideas in Psychology, 32, 99–106.

Zittoun, T. (2017). Modalities of Generalization Through Single Case Studies. integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 51, 171-194. doi:10.1007/s12124-016-9367-1

Zittoun, T., Duveen, G., Gillespie, A., Ivinson, G., & Psaltis, C. (2003). The use of symbolic resources in developmental transitions. Culture and Psychology, 9(4), 415–448.

Zittoun, T., & Grossen, M. (2010). Lʼactualisation dʼintentions didactiques en classe de littérature, philosophie et culture générale: un essai dʼanalyse transversale. Neuchatel, Switzerland: Université de Neuchatel. Retrieved from Neuchatel, Switzerland:

Zittoun, T., & Grossen, M. (2013). Cultural elements as means of constructing the continuity of self across various spheres of experience. In M. B. Ligorio & M. César (Eds.), Interplays between dialogical learning and dialogical self (pp. 99-126). Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2018.175


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Dana Walker

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.