Email as an arena for authoring a dialogical self among gifted young adolescents : a qualitative study

Dillon, Lisette (2012) Email as an arena for authoring a dialogical self among gifted young adolescents : a qualitative study. International Journal for Dialogical Science, 6(2), pp. 1-33.

View at publisher (open access)


This paper describes a qualitative study that investigated young adolescents’ self-constructions within the context of online (email) communication. Drawing from dialogical perspectives of self as multiply-situated and complex phenomena, the study focused on the everyday narratives of individual young adolescents interpreted as different “I” voices. With the assumption that computer mediation offers cultural relevance and empowerment to young adolescents, techniques of personal journal writing were used in combination with email as an alternative to face-to-face methods. Twelve participants aged 10 to 14 years were recruited online and by word-of-mouth with an invitation to write freely about their lives over a six month period in a participant-led email journal project. The role of the researcher was to develop a supportive voice of listener/responder that was intended to facilitate the emergence of participants’ own ‘self’ voices within an interactive space for relatively autonomous self-expression. Data as email texts were analysed using a close listening method that synchronised with the theory by revealing multi-layered patterns and shifts of voices in order to give a nuanced understanding of participants’ self and other evaluations. The paper shows that narrative methods used online and in concert with dialogical concepts have potential to heighten self-reflection and strengthen agency as a means to access rich and nuanced data from young adolescent individuals. The study’s findings contribute to a growing interest in the use of dialogical concepts to explore the ways people engage in active meaning-making while embedded in their specific social and cultural environments.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

417 since deposited on 19 Feb 2013
12 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 57391
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1556-1720
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Lisette Dillon
Deposited On: 19 Feb 2013 02:32
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2013 15:14

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page