The Fourth Edition of this highly successful textbook provides a unique and comprehensive introduction to the study and understanding of human relationships. This thoroughly revised edition combines the most recent research from social, personality, and developmental psychology, communication studies, family studies, and sociology with greater interdisciplinarity coverage and emphasis on processes of everyday life. Fresh insights from family studies, developmental psychology, occupational, and organizational psychology also combine to bring new perspectives to this thorough survey of the field. Thoroughly updated, with new chapters on Relating Difficulty, "small media" technology and relationships, and practical applications, the new edition is responsive to the student demand for insight into their own lives.

Relationships within Other Relationships: Social Networks and Families

Relationships within Other Relationships: Social Networks and Families
Relationships within other relationships: Social networks and families

We humans are social animals down into our very cells. Sociality is not some artificial burden foisted upon natural men and women, as Rousseau (1755/1984) imagined in his famous Discourse on Inequality. Nature does not make us noble loners. Instead we are in our most natural state when we are with families, lovers, enemies, friends, acquaintances, fellow workers, leaders, followers, and all the rest who light the constellations of human affiliation. (Parks, 2006: 1)

Focus points for note taking when reading this chapter:

  • The earlier parts of the book have looked at the role of emotion, experience, culture, and routine in the internal workings of a relationship. Other real people are the ...
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