The crucial nature of developmental theory is the question of relationship between cultural and personal facets of human development. Dialogue is a useful concept to specify this relationship from a process-oriented perspective. In its broadest sense, the notion of dialogue entails the interaction between at least two entities (persons, meanings, perspectives) out of which novelty can (but need not) emerge. Thus, dialogic models are open for developmental questions. These issues are examined in this, the first volume in which the increasingly popular metaphor of dialogue is systematically applied to developmental issues.
Dialogue is a multilevel concept and can be understood (1) as a real exchange between two interacting persons, (2) as the interaction between culture at large (e.g. stories and narratives) and the interacting, developing person, and (3) as a metaphor for developmental processes in general. In the first part of this international volume, the concept of dialogue is elaborated by researchers from different disciplines. The focus of the second section is on dialogic models in the area of self development. The third deals with the dialogical co-development of person and culture.