Relating Difficulty: The Processes of Constructing and Managing Difficult Interaction

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Dan Charles Kirkpatrick, Steve Duck, Megan K. Foley
Psychology Press, 2006 - Psychology - 249 pages
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Relating Difficulty offers insight into the nature of difficulty in relationships across a broad range of human experience. Whether dealing with in-laws or ex-spouses, long-distance relationships or power and status in the workplace, difficulty is an all too common feature of daily life. Relating Difficulty brings the academic understanding of relational processes to the everyday problems people face at home and at work.
 
These essays represent a groundbreaking collection of the multidisciplinary conceptual and empirical work that currently exists on the topic. Along with issues such as chronic illness and money problems, contributors investigate contexts of relational difficulty ranging from everyday gossip, the workplace and shyness to more dangerous sexual “hookups” and partner abuse.
 
Drawing on evidence presented in the volume, editors D. Charles Kirkpatrick, Steve Duck, and Megan K. Foley explain how relational problems do not emerge solely from individuals or even from the relationship itself. Instead, they arise from triangles of connection and negotiation between relational partners, contexts, and outsiders. The volume challenges the simple notion that relating difficulty is just about problems with "difficult people" and offers some genuinely novel insights into a familiar everyday experience.
 
This exceptional volume is essential reading for practitioners, researchers and students of relationships across a wide range of disciplines as well as anyone wanting greater understanding of relational functioning in everyday life and at work.
 

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Contents

Some Conceptual Problems With Problematic Relationships and Difficulties With Difficult People
1
Formation Is Just the Begining
15
A Multisite Model of Intimate Terrorism
43
Chapter 4 Leadership as the Management of Power in Relationships at Work
61
Chapter 5 Money and Relationship Difficulties
81
Chapter 6 The Difficulties of Inlaw Relationships
101
Chapter 7 The Trouble With Distance
119
The Myths and Realities of the Hookup Experience
141
Chapter 9 Gossip and Network Relationships
161
Overcoming the Challenges of Absence
181
Relationship Adaptation and Chronic Health Problems
203
Chapter 12 Relating Difficulty in a Triangular World
225
Author Index
233
Subject Index
243
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About the author (2006)

Steve Duck taught at two universities in the United Kingdom before taking up the Daniel and Amy Starch Distinguished Research Chair in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa, where he is a professor of communication studies and adjunct professor of psychology. He is also a Dean's Administrative Fellow and Chair of the Rhetoric Department. Duck has taught several interpersonal communication courses, mostly on relationships, but also on nonverbal communication, communication in everyday life, construction of identity, communication theory, organizational leadership, and procedures and practices for leaders. Duck has written or edited 60 books on relationships and founded the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, which he served as Editor for 15 year, and co-founded a series of international conferences on personal relations. His book, Meaningful Relationships: Talking, Sense, and Relating, won the G. R. Miller Book Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association. Duck has also won several personal awards such as the University of Iowa s first Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award in 2001, the 2004 National Communication Association s Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award, the 2010 Helen Kechriotis Nelson Teaching Award from UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and elected 2010 Distinguished Scholar from the National Communication Association. He hopes to someday appear on a viral YouTube clip and be famous.

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