Contrasting vygotsky's and bakhtin's approaches to consciousness

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Matusov (2011) sustains that Vygotsky and Bakhtin represent irreconcilable theoretical approaches. In his view, Vygotsky's model is monologic and universalist, while Bakhtin's is dialogic and pluralist. Although the two authors differ importantly, one cannot speak of irreconcilability for two main reasons. First, Vygotsky's approach is much more multifaceted and even contradictory than usually thought. In fact, his concept of sense echoes the Romanticist claim that experience exceeds the limits of language. Second, a dialogical conception of mind is not outside the reach of Hegelian tradition, which, in Matusov interpretation, is where Vygotsky's approach comes from. I emphasize that Bakhtin's unit of analysis is the voice-a concept more sociologic than psychological. "Voice" is insensitive to selfhood and should not be taken as synonymous of "person." Notwithstanding, Vygotsky and Bakhtin share beliefs with respect to the social constitution of the mind that allow including them in the same research program. © The Author(s) 2012 Reprints and permissions:
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalCulture and Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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