I'm re-reading Todorov's Mikhail Bakhtin. The Dialogical Principle. Below are some of the passages from Bakhtin's writings that I find especially significant.
No utterance in general can be attributed to the speaker exclusively; it is the product of the interaction of the interlocutors, and, broadly speaking, the product of the whole complex social situation in which it has occurred.
The entire verbal part of human existence ... cannot be charged to the account of the unique subject, taken in isolation; it does not belong to the individual but to his social group (his social environment).
... the speaking subject ... turns out to be wholly the product of social interrelations.
These passages help me understand some of the processes that are now taking place in my Grade 8 classroom. Bakhtin's dialogic principle is beginning to manifest itself in our classroom blogosphere. The students have begun to look at their own writing as part of a larger whole. Some not only expect feedback from their peers, but also solicit it verbally in class thus encouraging further interaction online.
Consequently, I have been noticing that their blog entries, or their utterances, to use Bakhtin's term, are a product of interactions that ensue every time a new text is posted. What emerges is not just a polyvocal community, but also a community where most written pieces are polyvocal due to the dialogic nature of the environment in which they are composed.