Rethinking Relationships


Steve Duck

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  • Dedication

    For Ratty.

    “He was a good rat” (Gabriel Lawson-Duck, personal communication)


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    Although I normally enjoy writing, this book has proved particularly difficult to complete, and I have had working drafts of the manuscript around for about 6 years, during which time I have edited or written another six books. For sustaining me through the difficulties, contributing ideas that I have been able to discuss and consider, for criticism and suggestions made in classes I have taught using the ideas now finalized in this script, I would like to acknowledge and thank the following: Seth Bunting, Min Kyong Cho, Jordan Flesch, Ryan Gourley, Dena Huisman, Linda Maxson, David T. McMahan, Sarah Nebel, Kristen Norwood, Ratty, Cara Roberts, Stephanie Rollie, Lee West, Julia T. Wood, and Brendan Young.

    I would particularly like to thank those friends and reviewers who read (parts of) the whole manuscript and gave excellent feedback on the many drafts, giving me new insights and approaches to the venture: Mark Fine, Jimmie Manning, Bob Milardo, Marshall Prisbell, Stephanie Rollie, Carla Ross, Pam Secklin, and other anonymous reviewers. All of these reviewers provided encouragement and specific examples, and Pam Secklin was a rock in checking for lunacy and connectedness with the real world. Jimmie Manning in particular was extremely helpful in providing instances of popular culture that supported (or challenged) the arguments of the book, and I am very grateful for his specificity and enlightening comments and examples.

    As ever, the support from Sage Editor Todd Armstrong was exemplary, and his skills at balancing demands with understanding are much appreciated, as was the cheerful encouragement and indirect support of Carmel Schrire, at various stages while working on another book. Todd provides the incisive insights and the reality that authors sometimes lack, yet he also appreciates the ways that work best to talk authors out of a funk. Unique among editors in my experience, he clearly takes a genuine interest in the books that he commissions as books rather than only as “consumable units,” which is not as common as it should be these days.

    SteveDuck, University of Iowa
  • About the Author

    Steve Duck is the Daniel and Amy Starch Distinguished Research Chair and a College Administrative Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. He has served as Departmental Executive Officer for the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Iowa. He was trained in the United Kingdom at Oxford (BA, MA) and Sheffield Universities (PhD) and taught in Scotland and England for 13 years before moving to Iowa. He founded, and edited for 15 years, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and has written or edited more than 50 books on relationships, television, research methods, social support, and a history of social psychology. His two most recent publications are with David McMahan and are Basics of Communication (2009) and Communication in Everyday Life (2010), both textbooks published by Sage. In April 2010, he was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Helen Kechriotis Nelson Teaching Award “for a lifetime of commitment to, and excellence in, teaching.” He was elected to the National Communication Association's highest honor, Distinguished Scholar, in 2010. He reads Latin for pleasure and is interested in history, especially Roman military history and Tudor England. Latin and the history of Tudor England have come in handy as he traced his family tree back to 1550. He loves the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Kate Bush, and Gerry Rafferty; does bird-watching; and has a website where you can find out the rest, such as the fact that he always wears two watches and carries a Swiss Army Knife:

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