Causal Talk and Identity: A Discursive View

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Grey, Jane
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Therapist perceptions of culture are located in stocks of knowledge, concepts and metaphors suspended in language, their uses and their social contexts. Taken-for-granted meanings and social constructions such as those evolved from academic philosophies shape these perceptions. One could even say they are fictional accounts when studying the diffractions of text and context. Discursive therapy is an ongoing inquiry of how these constructions operate in people's lives and of "sites of resistance," (Didur, J., 1997, p.1) to totalitarian operations. The discursive view is that the subject-object relations of modern scientism are linguistic inventions that suggest ‘identity culture' as more symbolic of therapist perceptions than the actual dialogues in which discovery of local meaning is investigated. This discursive inquiry uncovers how the dialogues or monologues embedded in institutional discourses inform therapy and therapists about alliances, knowledges, and taken-for-granted practices that constitute privileged discourse. How objectivism permeates therapist comprehension of the social contexts of problem definition reflects how therapists are acculturated to living and how they are acculturating practice to familiar contexts; that is, how the means of therapy, those that encourage dialogue or those that create a gap in therapy where dialogue is discouraged. This thesis centres on an investigation of how the devices of monologues have permeated therapeutic conversations. The discursive search is for how taken-for-granted meanings have been constructed and put in context of monologues and unilateral thought processes, including objectivist paradigms; particularly how definitions-in-contexts, can either aid or interfere with the susceptible adolescent's formation of their identity as either informative or subjugated ‘knowledges'.
discursive therapy , therapeutic dialogues , counselor communication , commodification