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.

Cover Stories as Family Communication Practice

Cover Stories as Family Communication Practice

Cover stories as family communication practice
Theresa L.HestMinnesota State University Moorhead
Judy C.PearsonNorth Dakota State University
Jeffrey T.ChildNorth Dakota State University

In the last chapter, Langellier and Peterson defined family storytelling as communication practice because it involves performance and representation. Family members use storytelling to create and present family identities. We examine storytelling in this chapter through the vehicle of marital “cover stories,” or stories that couples create and co-own. Cover stories are a unique type of family story, constructed for a variety of communicative reasons such as saving face or maintaining privacy. In a cover story, a married couple might agree on an excuse to miss an event or coordinate a narrative about an unwanted gift, making the giver feel appreciated. Married ...

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