Vox 22 – Erika Scheurer Compares Voice to Nakedness

Erika has a good metaphor for voice as being naked / wearing clothes.
“Voice as you present it concentrates and values nakedness. In effect you say, “If only you can get down to the naked self, that bare voice, then you’ll have power.” The social constructivist, on the other hand, concentrates on and values clothing: “Let’s look at what you’re wearing–where did you get these clothes?–let’s see which are of use to you and which are hindering you, then you’ll have power.” Both approaches want to empower but voice considers the individual alone while social constructivist considers the individual in context.”

I write in response: But you know, I’m not trying to deny the social constructivist or Bakhtinian point: I’m prepared to say that we only get voices from the outside–we never make up words. But he talks about “making them one’s own” (Discourse in the Novel). Also–(and perhaps here I do want to take issue)–there is the question of which voices we make most ourselves; or, put differently, there is the matter of even small infants having strong character–such that you can talk about the difference between behavior (or proto-speech) that is whole heartedly meant–and that which is ambivalent or half-hearted.