Mediated action, narratives of risk-taking, and identity formation in adolescents with a visual impairment
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The purpose of this project was to discern the inherent tension present in narratives told by adolescents with a visual impairment as they attempted to make sense of their experiences, specifically those surrounding risk. Mediated action, based on the foundational work of Vygotsky and Bakhtin, was used as both a theoretical and methodological approach; it is the theory that there are two components that constitute any human action: the "agent," or the person who is doing the acting, and the "mediational means" that he or she is using to accomplish the action in question. Tension ensues as neither is able to fully explain human behaviour. Ten adolescents with a visual impairment participated in a narrative interview, revealing numerous counter-narratives surrounding risk-taking, including "experimentation undertaken using good judgment." Participants offered examples of how they engaged, appropriated, resisted and transformed the dominant narratives of disability and adolescence in their identity formation.