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Agency, intersubjectivity and drama education: The power to be and do more

Wright, P. R. (2011) Agency, intersubjectivity and drama education: The power to be and do more. In: Schonmann, S., (ed.) Key concepts in Theatre/Drama education. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands, pp. 111-115.

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    Keywords: agency, intersubjectivity, drama education, applied theatre, young people, identity

    Theories of agency have long been implicit in drama education and applied theatre where the focus is on the performative, action, and engagement. What the notion of agency foregrounds is the individual, choice, freedom, and intentionality; it speaks to being purposeful and having and taking control in one’s life. However, agency can also be situated within the realm of self-interest where difference is individually measured and achieved; this being seen as some worse forms of new individualism defining living in the 21st Century (Elliott & du Gay, 2009). What is not as well understood is that agency also exits in relation to others with social bonds being a powerful way of knowing ourselves and attributing meaning. Intersubjectivity is a related concept that helps reveal how this process works, and the power that drama has in contributing to young people’s meaning making and the way they construct learning identities. Consequently, this entry will describe notions of agency and intersubjectivity within drama and applied theatre as particular forms of personal, social and collective action where the social and personal are inextricably linked.

    Publication Type: Book Chapter
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
    Publisher: Sense Publishers
    Copyright: 2011 Sense Publishers
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