Keywords

agency, volition, meaning, tacit, narrative, hermeneutics

Abstract

Participational agency is presented as a conceptual account of human action, volition, and possibility. Rooted in hermeneutic and narrative traditions, this view differs from other theorizing about agency (and most psychological theorizing in general) in that it makes no effort to explain human action by virtue of reified constructs. As an alternative to traditional theorizing in this area, participational agency is defined as meaningful engagement in the world and treats the experienced meaningfulness of practical human activity as its central feature. The concept of meaningful engagement is clarified through the presentation of four related themes—situated participation, existential concern, dispositional action, and narrative orientation. Finally, the author offers several implications of this view of agency for theory and research.

Original Publication Citation

Yanchar SC. Participational Agency. Review of General Psychology. 2011;15(3):277-287. doi:10.1037/a0024872

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2011-09-01

Publisher

Review of General Psychology

Language

English

College

David O. McKay School of Education

Department

Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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