The dialogics of negation: Gender and subjectivity

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New York for Social Research
Our contention, therefore, is that there is a gap between the realm of consciousness and the spokenness of dialogue, a gap that we explore through the notion of gendered subjectivity. The question we ask is not, (or not only), how women as social beings inhabit the dialogic mode, nor is our purpose here simply to reaffirm the specificity of women's silencing, of which enough documentation exists. Rather, we use the subjectivity of women as the space in which the relationship of subaltern consciousness to dialogue may be explored. Our concern in this paper is with the status of what might be called vestigial consciousness, that which is epistemologically and philosophically inadmissible and yet informs subjectivity as the residue of experience. We argue that the dualities of subject/object, speech/silence, humanity/dehumanization, even extension/communication cannot take full account of the social life-process, including the educational process, and that what needs to be articulated is the recognition of negation in speech, dehumanization in humanity, extension in communication. ln other words, within the parameters of the dialogic mode, we need ways to draw attention to what is dialogue's shadow self: ambiguity, self-doubt, negation and bitterness. Where, we ask, do models of social change put the "mess," the debris of failed understanding, of communication gone awry? Can the notion of anti-dialogue sufficiently account for the complexity of the unspoken?
Diálogo / Dialogicidade, Subjetividade / Objetividade, Consciência