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Moving between frames: the basis of the stable and dialogical self

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Research on the dialogical self has tended to emphasize instability over stability. Grossen and Salazar Orvig (2011) show how norms, values, material objects, and institutions feed into the stability of the self. We expand upon this contribution by introducing Goffman's (1974) concept of "frames" to theorize both stability and instability. Social interactions do not begin with individuals but with socially given and pre-existing cultural-historical frames which people are called upon to inhabit. Frames comprise historical, institutional, material, and cultural aspects. The key point is that action within a frame tends to stabilize the self, while being caught between frames tends to destabilize the self. The concept of frames can thus provide a clear link between the structure of the social world and the structure of the dialogical self. We use the concept of frames to distinguish the stability produced by one set of expectations, within one frame, from the peculiar instability and dialogical tensions which result from being embedded in discrepant or contradictory frames.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38865/

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