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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an interactional approach to identity development grounded in select aspects of social constructionism, ethnomethodology, and discursive positioning. An interactional approach is shaped by the nonfoundationalist social epistemology of social constructionism, which rejects the dualistic metaphysics that grounds the traditional internal/external dichotomy; the locus of knowledge is therefore not in individual minds nor extant sociocultural realities, but in interactional patterns of social relatedness. Furthermore, an interactional approach to identity borrows the ethnomethodological dictum to make the theoretical intimations of social constructionism analytically visible and tractable through a systematically detailed empirical grounding of interactional identities. Finally, discursive positioning is posited as the vanguard for an interactional view of identity development, as it involves an empirically grounded and microgenetic rendering of how people engage in discursive actions to develop identities as interactional (not mentalistic) phenomenon. Discursive positioning is illustrated; implications and limitations of an interactional approach to identity are discussed.

Keywords: interactional, discourse, positioning, social constructionism, ethnomethodology, discursive psychology

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