The Family Communication Sourcebook provides an in-depth examination of contemporary theory and research in the area of family communication. This unique collection offers a state-of-the art approach by pairing conceptual pieces with original studies in the same general topic area. Editors Lynn H. Turner and Richard West present readers with a thoughtful and thorough exploration of the critical issues facing family communication researchers today.

Family Storytelling as Communication Practice

Family Storytelling as Communication Practice

Family storytelling as communication practice
Kristin M.LangellierUniversity of Maine
Eric E.PetersonUniversity of Maine

The communication practice of storytelling is one way, among many others examined in this volume, of “doing family.” As surely as we are born into genes, genealogy, and a body of relatives by blood, marriage, and bonds, we are “born into” family stories and histories, family myths and metaphors, family rituals and routines, family language and secrets. Families “take what they tell from experience—their own and that told by others—and, in turn, make it the experience of those who are listening to the tale” (Benjamin, 1969, p. 87). Adapting Walter Benjamin's (1969) analysis of the storyteller to family emphasizes storytelling as communication. As communication practice, storytelling involves how families perform ...

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