Four person-ideas in a soul-searching internally persuasive discourse

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Ana Marjanovic-Shane


The monologues presented in this article represent a particular Bakhtinian analysis of a transcript of a passionate, dramatic, and conflictual General Assembly meeting held in the first democratic school in Norway, the Experimental Gymnasium of Oslo (EGO), only two months after the school was opened, on November 2nd, 1967. In the meeting, they confronted each other with deep disagreements in their vision of the school and ways to govern it.

The Bakhtinian assumption is that a dialogic analysis of any dialogue takes entering into dialogic relationships with the original participants in the analyzed dialogue (Matusov, Marjanovic-Shane, & Gradovski, 2019; Matusov, Marjanovic-Shane, Kullenberg, & Curtis, 2019). By taking the floor in the Soul-Searching Assembly, the students confronted each other fully from the bottom of their hearts and minds. Their ideas were embodied intentions, motives, reasons, and desires – what Bakhtin called the person-ideas (Bakhtin, 1999). I constructed four person-ideas based on the transcript of the Soul-searching assembly. In that process of dialogic abstraction, I attempted to distill specific points of view without depersonalizing them into abstract ideas thorn out of the living moment of their lives.

The analysis through the construction of the four person-ideas complements a vignette I wrote based on the same transcript (Marjanovic-Shane, 2023b). It is both a distinctive kind of dialogic analysis, and it also helps me prepare the data regarding the students’ ideas for a further conceptual analysis, where I explore the students' ideological positions, beliefs, and worldviews. That conceptual analysis is published in a separate article of this special issue (Marjanovic-Shane, 2023a).

Article Details

How to Cite
Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2023). Four person-ideas in a soul-searching internally persuasive discourse . Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 11(2), A198-A216.
Author Biography

Ana Marjanovic-Shane, Independent Scholar, USA

Ana Marjanovic-Shane is an Independent Scholar interested in ethical ontological dialogism and meaning-making in education, democratic education, students’ academic freedoms, and students’ critical and creative authorship in self-education. Her articles in English and Serbian were published in various journals (e.g., Mind, Culture, Activity Journal, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Dialogic Pedagogy Journal) and as book chapters in books on play and education. Two recent publications include: Shugurova, O., Matusov, E., & Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2022). The University of Students: A place for joint self-education. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 10, E1-E42; Marjanovic-Shane, A., Meacham, S., Choi, H. J., Lopez, S., & Matusov, E. (2019). Idea-dying in critical ontological pedagogical dialogue. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 20, 68-79, and a book: Matusov, E., A. Marjanovic-Shane & M. Gradovski, (2019). Dialogic pedagogy and polyphonic research art: Bakhtin by and for educators, Palgrave Macmillan. Ana lives and works in the USA.


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