Ilene Wasserman

Discursive Processes that Foster Dialogic Moments: Transformation in the Engagement of Social Identity Group Differences in Dialogue

by Ilene Wasserman
Fielding Graduate University
May, 2004

This interpretive case study identifies discursive processes that support the emergence of transformative dialogic moments in the engagement of socially and historically defined group differences. Social construction and communication theory as well as relational theory provide the theoretical grounding for this research. Building on Martin Buber’s definition of dialogic moments and more recent writings from Kenneth Cissna and Robert Anderson, dialogic moments are defined when meaning emerges in the context of relationship, and when one acknowledges and engages another with willingness to alter their own story. McNamee and Gergen describe the transformative procress as “first transforming the interlocutors’ understanding of the action in question…and second, altering the relations among the interlocutors themselves.