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Offering insights from a Who's Who of scholars in interpersonal communication

“A highly beneficial contribution to the field with chapters that are clear and concise and illuminate the interesting and important aspects of interpersonal communication. With each chapter students are informed about the components of the theory and are also provided with examples that they can relate to, which really brings these theories to life.”

—René Dailey, University of Texas at Austin

“I love this book for its insight, organization, and inclusiveness. I like that the authors use specific examples and then apply their theory to the examples for illustration—this is how students begin to learn how to use and understand theories. What an accessible, thorough, and user-friendly book.”

—Maureen P. Keeley, Texas State University-San Marcos

Engaging Theories in Interpersonal ...

Relational Dialectics Theory: Crafting Meaning from Competing Discourses
Relational dialectics theory: Crafting meaning from competing discourses
Leslie A.Baxter and Dawn O.Braithwaite

Relational Dialectics Theory (RDT) is a theory of the meaning-making between relationship parties that emerges from the interplay of competing discourses. “Discourses” are systems of meaning that are uttered whenever we make intelligible utterances aloud with others (or in our heads when we hold internal conversations). In its broadest sense, a discourse is a cultural system of meaning that circulates among a group's members and which makes our talk sensical. For example, in the United States the discourse of individualism helps us to understand and value an utterance such as, “I need to find myself first before I commit to a serious relationship with another person.” ...

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