• Examining the self-other dialogue through `spirit' and `soul'.

      Sullivan, Paul W. (2007)
      Bakhtin¿s dialogism is widely used to understand the mutual constitution of self and other in action. In this article, however, I argue that there is a second hinge to Bakhtin¿s work that is currently underemphasized in the literature. This is his emphasis on the sense of action that accompanies dialogue. Bakhtin refers to action as sensed as `spirit¿. In contrast, he refers to action relating to the other as `soul¿. In this article, I outline these distinctions in Bakhtin¿s thought before arguing that there is sometimes an intriguing and imaginative struggle between spirit and soul in dialogue. In this struggle, the distinctions between fantasy and reality can become blurred as the self risks potentially life-changing encounters with genuine others. The implications that this has for research practice in socio-cultural psychology are drawn out. In particular, I argue that the `spirit-soul¿ distinction introduces a humanistic and optimistic view of the self-other relationship into cultural psychology.