Dialogical Self Theory: Against West versus the Rest

Huimin Jin’s article on cultural self-confidence is a welcome invitation to deliver a short commentary from a western point of view. My purpose is to show that in Western scientific publications of the past decades, there is an increasing interest in both the necessity and fertility of developing a dialogical self as part of a globalizing world society. In this context, I discuss (a) the dialogical self as an alternative to Western individualism (b) the origin of Dialogical Self Theory and some of its main tenets; and (c) tension between global and local positions; and (d) the necessity of recognizing the otherness and alterity of voices emerging from different cultures and selves. I show that recent developments in Western social sciences are well in agreement with some of Jin’s main arguments on Chinese self-confidence.