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Dialogue as a way of life: moral turning points in emerging adulthood

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ABSTRACT This study explored the functions of dialogue in emerging adults' moral turning points. Through purposive sampling, the researcher interviewed 10 emerging adults between 25 and 30 years old

ABSTRACT This study explored the functions of dialogue in emerging adults' moral turning points. Through purposive sampling, the researcher interviewed 10 emerging adults between 25 and 30 years old about experiences of turning point conversations during the years of 18 and 25. This study employed constant comparative and grounded theory methodologies to analyze messages reported in memorable conversations during this period. Results indicated that dialogue functioned to educate, disturb, and maintain emerging adults' moral perception during this period of moral reorientation. Subcategories under each included dialogue that functioned to explain, invite, warn, direct or instruct, challenge, persuade, agitate, expose, inquire, legitimize, co-reflect, redefine, and affirm or reinforce. This report cites passages from interview data to highlight how dialogic themes informed or shaped changes in moral perception. In each participant's self-reported turning point conversations there was an admixture of dialogic functions at work. Notably, participants' experience of moral turning (degree and trajectory) varied despite there being similarity in intended functions of dialogue.

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  • 2010