The self as a complex dynamic system


complexity theory
dynamic systems
learner differences
the self

How to Cite

Mercer, S. (2011). The self as a complex dynamic system. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 57–82.

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This article explores the potential offered by complexity theories for understanding language learners’ sense of self and attempts to show how the self might usefully be conceived of as a complex dynamic system. Rather than presenting empirical findings, the article discusses existent research on the self and aims at outlining a conceptual perspective that may inform future studies into the self and possibly other individual learner differences. The article concludes by critically considering the merits of a complexity perspective but also reflecting on the challenges it poses for research.


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