In this essay, I compare Bakhtin's works of the late 1920s and 1930s, particularly Problems of Dostoevsky's Art (1929),
with his works of the early 1960s, particularly Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics (1963), in order to re-evaluate the
dynamics of his notions of polyphony, dialogue and voice. In this regard, the comparison shows that there are
substantial differences between these texts. First, the sociological line of reasoning that was remarkable in the late
1920s and 1930s is suppressed in the works of the early 1960s. Second, while in the late 1920s and 1930s Bakhtin
laid stress on the importance of raznoglasie [diverse voices], by the early 1960s he came to regard soglasie [concordant
voices] as important as raznoglasie. It should also be added that the significance of dialogic activity in polyphony
and dialogue is emphasized throughout Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. All of these observations make it clear that
the point of Bakhtin's dialogism is that access to penetrative dialogue is possible only by dialogic activity that
maintains appropriate distance.
For constructing the theoretical foundations of my methodology for qualitative studies named Dialogical Model
Production Method (DMPM), following topics were discussed. (1) Four principles of Bakhtin's dialogism were
related with the postmodern concepts of "difference" and "polyphonic texts". (2) My concept of the generative
dialogue based on the dialogical interaction among polyphonic texts was discussed in the relation with following
concepts: "genesis and differentiation", "differance and dissemination", "inter-textuality and polylogue" and
"hypertexts in computer science". (3) Three models of thinking and viewing the world, such as "the tree model", "the
linear progressive model" and "the network model", were presented. My concept of generative dialogue of
polyphonic inter-texts was related with the net work model.
This study investigated the developmental process from "univocal" learning to "multivocal" understanding of concepts
from the standpoint of the theories of M. M. Bakhtin and L. S. Vygotsky. Study 1 examined the meta-cognition of
learners who used univocal concept learning. The results revealed that these learners had meta-cognition by which it
was expected that multivocal interpretation of the concept would occur in the near future, by continuation of univocal
learning. Study 2 examined whether learners who used univocal concept learning could develop their multivocal
understanding by participating in classroom activities. It clarified that they gradually interpreted the connection
between their concept and everyday experience by using various concepts gained during univocal learning. The study
shows that the developmental processes "univocality" and "multivocality" are intertwined.
Action research was conducted on a voluntary story-tellers' group of disaster victims from the 1995 Great HanshinAwaji Earthquake. The group was facing major difficulties 10 years after the disaster. There was also a problem
regarding how to bridge the widening gap between the story-teller and the audience. The story-tellers wanted to tell a
"retrospective story" of suffering and recovery, whereas the audiences wanted to listen to a "prospective story" of
disaster preparedness for future events. First, Bakhtin's idea of "authoritative/internally persuasive utterances" was
redefined as a concept describing group dynamics among "speech genres". Secondly, it was suggested that the
difficulty stemmed from the "authoritative" relationship between story-tellers and audiences, without dialogic
interactions. Thirdly, the author conducted action research aimed at turning an "authoritative" relationship into an
"internally persuasive" relationship. Specifically, the author encouraged story-tellers to get involved in a joint disaster
education program for primary school children, conducted by university students in a disaster reduction course. This
attempt created a successful series of multi-voiced and dynamic responses among the program participants. The
researcher's responsibility in action research is also discussed from the perspective of Bakhtin' ideas.
Bakhtin has analyzed the dialogic relationships between texts. It is a dialogue that appears as semantic responses
between subjects. Things born in the boundary of texts is known as "the event of the life of the text". I have
conducted a critical analysis of the theory of another person and of the conclusions by Bakhtin. I have proposed a
different explanation of the conclusion, based on the internal side of my-self, and as a result, developed a concept
called a "self-text". When a reader has a dialogue with an author's text, the reader exchanges meanings with the
author using this self-text. Bakhtin's theory of the life of a text relates to the reading theory of Iser. He has described
that a book becomes a read book because it has a two level structure, one is the meaning written in the text, and the
other, is the meaning that the reader received. The work of an editor concerns exchanging the meaning in the
boundary of texts. A mature book is a book that guarantees the dialogue.
This article describes a year-long series of "case meetings" held in a junior high school. It focuses on the change in
teachers' conversations about two at-risk students and the concomitant emotions of the coordinating teacher (Mrs. C).
The school counselor's input had blurred the characteristics of the at-risk students, and only by the application of a
teacher's practical knowledge were they able to handle the students' problem behaviors. Mrs. C experienced a high
level of stress in the first half of the year, because she could not get a consensus concerning the students' problem
behavior from the other teachers. In the second half of this year, however, Mrs. C changed, and began to access help
more effectively. Finally, using an idea derived from M. M. Bakhtin, the counselor's roll in foster collaboration in a
school setting was discussed.
Although great progress has been made in assisted reproductive technologies, women suffering from infertility still
face both great hopes and cruel disappointment. It is still difficult to produce a child using infertility treatments. If
the infertility treatment does not lead to the birth of a child, the patient has to decide whether to continue. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nine women who decided to remain childless after unsuccessful infertility
treatments. This study sought to clarify the process by which they accepted their lives as childless women and the
meaning of their experiences of infertility treatments. Their narratives concerning the infertility experience were
divided into three periods: "early", "intensive", and "terminal". These did not follow successively, but were diverse.
The results revealed four meanings of infertility treatments: "expansion of a sense of acceptance", "change in values",
"change in the meaning of infertility treatment", and "generativity". After stopping treatment, they overcame their
infertility through "socialization". From the viewpoint of life-span development, their narratives should be considered
to have positive meaning and be one dimension of their adult development.
We sought to understand a neglected subjective experience, the "solipsistic experience", by relating it to another such
experience, the "I-experience". We interpreted written materials that had been collected incidentally and named
"spontaneous cases", trying to read them "as if my own memorandum", and making a "diagram of the structure of inner
experience". On comparing these cases, a critical difference between the two types of experience was found:
solipsistic experiences include a "crack in the obviousness of the relationship between self and others", while Iexperiences do not. Based on an investigation of Kimura’s concept of the "sense of obviousness of self", both
experiences are defined briefly. An I-experience refers to a break in the "obviousness of the individual identity of
self", while a solipsistic experience refers to a break in the "obviousness of the self as a ‘species being’ (translation of
the German philosophical term Gattungswesen)". An analysis of a novel by Richard Hughes demonstrates that the
strange fantasy a child experiences in this text can be used to illustrate these two types of experience.
Although empirical studies using questionnaire-based methods have shown simple correlations between the meanings
of death and the religiosity of elderly people, the qualitative aspects of these relationships, which include the ideas of
fruitfulness and multiplicity with respect to these meanings, have not been sufficiently considered. This study sheds
light on the ways of constructing such meanings by quoting the sacred narratives of Shin Buddhism and by analyzing
themes and sources of meaning as narrated in the life stories of elderly Jodo Shinshu monks. Semi-structured
interviews were conducted with 10 elderly Jodo Shinshu monks. It was found that themes were represented by three
types of life story: the Doctrinal, I, and Dual stories. Moreover, five sources of meaning were found: educational
relationships with religion throughout their lives, religious relationships with laymen and friends, experience of the
death of persons close to them, experience of life-threatening illness and accidents, and the meaning of their own death.
The results obtained from the interviews are discussed in the context of narrative structure and generativity.
Women who choose abortion often feel troubled about the loss of life involved and fear social stigmatization.
Consequently, many have trouble discussing their experiences and feelings, and grieve in isolation. We interviewed
three women who had experienced abortion at least two years before, when they were unmarried and aged about
twenty, to investigate their feelings and what the experience of abortion meant for the women concerned. Using the
Trajectory Equifinality Model (TEM), we analyzed the diversity of abortion experiences, which were influenced by
social expectations and relations with others, including partners, from when the women first discovered that they were
pregnant until the present. Most were initially tormented by a sense of sinfulness for having chosen to have the
abortion, and felt guilty about the effect it would have on their partners. Consequently, they found it difficult to talk
about their experiences to others and to receive support. With time, however, their feelings changed, and they came to
accept both the pregnancy and the abortion as important experiences in their lives.
The illness experience of a transgender person (medical term: gender identity disorder) and his family was investigated
using a Rashomon-like approach. Previous studies have focused only on persons who feel a strong identification with
the other gender and undergo sex reassignment treatment, so those studies did not consider other people close to the
transgender person. However, the key to understanding the illness experience of a transgender person is to view it
from multiple perspectives including those of people close to the person. In this study, recognizing that illness is
experienced between people, the illness experiences of a transgender person and his family (mainly his mother) were
topicalized by interviewing each person several times. In conclusion, the Rashomon-like narratives of the interactions
between a transgender person and his mother revealed two major events in their mutual experiences. One event
means "the event of experiencing school refusal", the other event means "the event of experiencing gender identity
disorder". Their narratives describing these events diverged at around the time the transgender person recognized that
he was a transgender male. Meanings of events created by other family member indicated that each family member
have got engaged in family situation.
Data from fifteen medical consultations between pediatric oncologists and children who were recently hospitalized
with cancer were collected at six hospitals where the policy is to give the patients information, including naming their
illness. The data were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. The phenomenon of "sharing information"
was discovered with six sub-categories: introduction of information sharing, attempts to adjust the interaction,
encouragement of perseverance, expression of interest, expression of denial, and expression of understanding and
perseverance. Four patterns occurred in the process of "sharing information": smooth communication, situational
adaptation, unexpected denial, and negative feedback loops. These patterns were based on a combination of the
oncologists' degree of insistence, the oncologists' degree of intimidation, the oncologists' degree of reducing anxiety in
the child, the oncologists' degree of respecting the child's perspective, the oncologists' degree of expressed sympathy,
the oncologists' degree of curiosity encouragement, and the parents' degree of expressed anxiety.