with Linda K. Acitelli, Peter A. Andersen, Charles R. Berger, Marcia Dixson, Beverly Fehr, Julie Fitness, Garth J. O. Fletcher & James M. Honeycutt What special knowledge must a person have to participate in a relationship? What special language structures do persons typically use in entering or conducting relationships? Individuals in Relationships provides answers to these questions and offers an interdisciplinary look at the individual processes necessary to, and presumed in, relationships. It deals with the cognitive–the mental processes individuals bring to relationships, ranging from their thought patterns and attributional styles to the ways in which they recall relationship events and treat or manipulate shared knowledge. Further, it covers such topics as mutual understanding in relationships, cognitive schemata in personal relationships, and memory structures for the beginning and end of relationships. Using the theme of cognition as a starting point, this comprehensive volume lays the groundwork for further exploration of individuals in relationships, specifically, the broader social contextual factors of such relationships. A volume featuring the latest scholarship that examines cognitive relationship processes, Individuals in Relationships is particularly useful for a wide range of scholars and professionals interested in personal relationships, social psychology, communication studies, family studies, sociology, and gender studies. “The volume does a fine job of describing the mental representations and cognitive processes people bring to their close relationships. … Clearly, one of the strengths of this volume is its coherence. The emphasis on cognition is defined at the outset, and is successfully developed throughout. … Taken together, the chapters that compose this volume accomplish two important tasks. First, they provide an excellent review of the literature on social cognition in close relationships. This, by itself, is a good reason for those interested in personal relationships to have the book on their shelf. Second, the chapters supply a preliminary blueprint for future research on cognitive processes in relationships. By discussing controversial issues, describing methodological dilemmas, and positing interesting research questions and hypotheses, the authors point readers toward a number of gaps in the current literature. It is the author's ability to analyze past work and look toward future work that makes Individuals in Relationships a particularly stimulating volume.” –Journal of Marriage and the Family

Goals, Plans, and Mutual Understanding in Relationships

Goals, plans, and mutual understanding in relationships
CharlesR.Berger

In an effort to provide a meta-theoretical frame for understanding the past 25 years of social and personal relationships research, Duck (1991) suggested that a useful point of departure would be to focus on the personal meanings that those involved in relationships create for themselves and the mutual understandings they negotiate with their relational partners. He concluded his ambitious meta-theoretical statement by asserting the following set of postulates:

The world is in need of interpretation and meaning, individuals construct meanings for themselves, while partaking of the meaning already available through language; Pairs of individuals develop refined overlapping meaning systems; Symbolic union and sharing of meanings underlies all aspects of relationships. (p. 29)

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