Social Accountability Theory

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“In joint actions between them, people constitute background situations in which they are accountable to each other in terms related to those situations. Indeed, it is in being accountable to each other in their situation’s terms that they sustain ‘it’ in existence.”
— Shotter, In conversation: joint action, shared intentionality and ethics, Theory and psychology, 1995, 5(1): p. 55.

“The basic elements of a social order must not only know what they are doing, they must also be able to account for their action, as well as knowing how to correct mistakes, redeem themselves, acquit themselves, make reparations, and so on.”
Vico, joint action, moral worlds and personhood, in Shotter, Social accountability and selfhood, 1984, p. 148.

“A Vichian social psychology would not be concerned with discovering theoretical principles, but with the practical tast of moving on to new forms of human being; with people actually discovering within themselves how to exercise new powers of mind — and how to avoid being bewitched by linguistic and theoretical constructs of their own making.”
Vico, joint action, moral worlds and personhood, in Shotter, Social accountability and selfhood, 1984, p. 135.

“In their conversational talk with each other, in being answerable for their own stance within the conversation, and in needing to address themselves to the others around them, speakers must, morally, take account of their situation in their moment-by-moment voicing of their talk.”
— Shotter, Harré, Vygotsky, Bakhtin, Vico, Wittgenstein: academic discourses and conversational realities, Journal for the theory of social behaviour, 1993, 23(4): p. 474.


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