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  • Cited by 5
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

18 - Methodological approaches to studying the self in its social context

from Part II - Methods for studying the dialogical self


This chapter utilizes dialogical self theory (DST) to construct an account of experiences of self-diminishment in schizophrenia. It suggests that many disparate accounts of self-diminishment may be understood as involving lost or weakened capacities for intrapersonal and interpersonal dialogue. The chapter outlines how losses of this kind appear to assume at least three different forms. It describes models of self-disturbance from psychoanalytic, phenomenological and existential vantage points in order to be able to compare them later with the dialogical approach and then articulates the advances offered by DST. Each view reports an overall sense of compromised agency and a felt lack of meaning among persons diagnosed with schizophrenia. The chapter returns to the claims of DST within a larger discourse concerning self-experience in schizophrenia and shows how our account squares with a range of three other descriptions of alterations in self-experience, including those from psychoanalytic, phenomenological and existential perspectives.


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