To read this content please select one of the options below:

Bakhtin's theory of speech as human agency

Branka Mraović (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 1 August 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution by the Russian social philosopher and cultural theoretician M.M. Bakhtin to the development of social sciences and, particularly, the author's relevance for the issue of agency.


The article provides some details about Bakhtin and discusses his theories and their influence.


Agency is always directed towards the other axiological position, in which the Self‐Other relationship is always a cross‐over or a transgredient relation. The active role of the Other in the act of communication is the very reason why “the utterance of the Other” is not only the topic of speech but also why it enters speech and its syntactic construct as a particular constructive element.

Practical implications

In this way, Bakhtin's philosophy of language can find an equally constructive use in the interdisciplinary theoretical discourse within the context of the development of post‐Cartesian human sciences as well as in the new practical determination of human agency in an era of globality.


Bakhtin's theory of speech as human agency provides a tool for constructing new mental models, the realization of which relies on the assumption of the organizing culture.



Mraović, B. (2008), "Bakhtin's theory of speech as human agency", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 283-296.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles