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The New Johari Window #29: Quadrant Three: The Three Schools of Thought

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The Continental School

The third quadrant is “owned” by the Continental school, just as Quad One is “owned” by the American school and Quad Two is “owned” by the British school. The social-critical analysis of the Continental school has much to say about this quadrant and, specifically, about the complex dynamics of interpersonal disclosure.

The Continental School focuses in particular on two fundamental issues. The first issue concerns conformity to existing social constructions. Does this specific disclosure reinforce social constructs or does it, in some way, change them? Does a specific disclosure conform to the narrative that is dominant in a specific social setting (or to the grand narrative that is dominant in most societies at a particular point in history)?

If it conforms to existing social constructions and dominant narratives, then is this disclosure in some sense self-fulfilling (as I illustrated above with regard to the British school)? Does it tend to reinforce stereotypes and untested assumptions that reside within the social construction or dominant narrative? If it does not conform to the existing social constructions or to the dominant narrative, then can this disclosure even be understood and assimilated by other people?

The second issue concerns the context within which the disclosure occurs and the nature of the people receiving the disclosure. While the British school focuses on the role played by the discloser, the Continental school often looks to the recipient of the disclosure to gain insight about the dynamics of Quad Three. Those in the Continental school are likely to ask: Who can disclose in this setting? It might not just be the powerless people (as the British school is likely to conclude).

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