Rethinking Relationships

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Steve Duck
SAGE Publications, Aug 31, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 219 pages
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Relationships are far more than emotional attachments or bonds. They are not merely happy, emotionally satisfying elements of our lives but they significantly shape our experiences of the world and contribute to our senses of identity, our outlook on life, and even the way in which we think about things. In Rethinking Relationships, noted human relationship scholar and professor, Steve Duck, integrates diverse systems of thought and offers a new and distinct way to think about relationships and relating. The book deals with such questions as "How do people know their world?", "How much of what we know is individual knowledge and how much comes from groups and our personal relationships to other people?" and "How does membership of relationships structure our experience, affect our ranges of knowledge, and organize our daily lives?"

The book introduces a variety of communicative situations by means of which individuals establish, reconstitute, and demonstrate their membership of communities and relationships. However, the book also develops the idea that these relational activities serve epistemic functions, which is to say that they construct, constrain, or facilitate means through which a person knows and experiences the world. Relationships are more than satisfying reliable alliances with others; rather they are communicative loci where the person's knowledge of life is shaped, formed, and interpreted. Thus relationships are both an influence on our ways of thinking and also are places where we sculpt our identity and learn or modify our worth to others.

Features & Benefits:

* Interdisciplinary approach and draws on the conceptual frameworks for many different scholarly traditions, providing the reader with a truly holistic perspective

* Pedagogy that connects the material to students' lives:

* "Try this out" section in each chapter indicates ways in which students can employ the concepts used in the chapter. Students are encouraged and directed to refer the abstract concepts discussed in the chapter to their own daily experience.

* "Look for this in the media": students are guided to discover examples of a concept as presented by TV and other media.

* "Listen to your own conversations": students are encouraged to attend carefully to their own conversations and glean evidence to illustrate items discussed in each chapter.

* "Keep a journal": students are encouraged to keep a journal for class discussion and will be asked to record and report on their observations about experiences in their daily life that would help to illustrate the chapter concepts.

* "Self questions": students are presented at the end of each chapter with a number of questions that invite them to reflect on their own performance of relationships.

* "Practical matters": students are directed to some issues in the chapter that have practical application in the broader social world beyond their academic or personal experiences.

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About the author (2010)

 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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