Subjectivity and positioning

Through Valeria Ugazio’s model of semantic polarities, our Institute recovers and deepens this idea of contexual subject, providing a systemic interpretation of the subjectivity that attributes centrality to semantics and to the underlying emotions. Like some cognitivists, including Kelly and Guidano, Valeria Ugazio places the processes of constructing meaning at the basis of the model of family semantic polarities. However, unlike these cognitive authors, the meaning is not seen as an individual, idiosyncratic construction.

On the contrary, it is considered a joint venture in which all family members participate, as well as any other group with a common history. Its essence is in conversational exchanges rather than individual minds. As they construct meaning, individuals define their position and subjectivity together with other conversational partners.

According to the model of family semantic polarities, conversation in the family, as in any other group with a history, is organized through polarities of opposite meanings such as generous-selfish, strong-weak, mentally open-narrow minded. Thanks to the polar structure of meaning, present in all languages, no one can position himself as generous, strong, mentally open, or in any other way, unless there is at least one other individual in his relational context that occupies the opposite position of selfish, weak, narrow minded. Consequently, the identity and its maintenance depends on who occupies opposite and complementary positions in the same context.