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Relational Dialectics Theory

Relational dialectics theory (RDT) has been a prominent theory in interpersonal communication research. Since its development in the 1980s. The theory was developed by Leslie Baxter and Barbara Montgomery, and it pinpoints communication and dialogue as the central components of relational and cultural identity and how speakers express opposing, irresolvable tensions in relationships. This entry defines key concepts of RDT, including dialogue, dialectical tensions, speech genres, and utterance chains. It concludes with an overview of contrapuntal analysis, to help researchers analyze data from a RDT perspective.

Key Concepts

In the following sections, definitions of four fundamental components of RDT are explored. It is not an exhaustive list, but an overview of concepts that are most crucial for understanding RDT’s primary goals.

Dialogue

RDT is framed around dialogue, which ...

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