The dialogical self between virtual and real: the Positioning Network Analysis

Susanna Annese, Marta Traetta


Over the last years there has been a growing diffusion of the dialogical approach for the study of identity; at the same time there is a great need of identifying appropriate methods for a dialogical analysis of identity. The aim of this article is just to propose a methodology able to study the dialogical nature of identity both in virtual and real contexts.

The proposed methodology stems from the Dialogical Self theory and tries to implement the concept of positioning.

A brief review of literature about current methods to dialogically analyze identity dynamics introduces our methodological proposal that consists of an innovative and qualitative use of Social Network Analysis, generally employed to examine relational interactions of a community. The qualitative use of SNA produces an original methodological device called Positioning Network Analysis (PNA), where network nodes represent identity positionings.

We will explain conceptual steps of PNA by providing some examples for each step. Our aim is to show the versatility of this tool both in virtual and in real contexts of blended communities.

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