This book describes many different and useful ways of understanding personal relationships from a dialectical perspective. It is written for scholars in higher education, both faculty and students, across many fields within the social sciences and the humanities who seek answers to questions about how people relate to one another. The book is valuable for all scholars who pursue new ideas because it models a form of scholarly communication in which:
* multiple voices can be acknowledged as valid;
* the worth of one perspective is not measured by the denigration of another; and
* difference is celebrated as conducive to learning rather than threatening to it.
The contributors emphasize the characteristics of their dialectical view that set them apart from other dialectical authors and describe their methods of studying relationships from a dialectical perspective. Following the Bakhtinian perspective, they honor the values of dialogism by respecting different and sometimes contradictory views, assuming that these views can be valid, and joining in a discussion with the editors and other contributors about their emerging work. They also acknowledge that the chapters in this text are part of an ongoing process to frame and reframe emerging ideas, and allow the dialogue that occurs within this frame the freedom to express creative, unique ideas.
"I recommend Dialectical Approaches to Studying Personal Relationships to scholars who are actively considering incorporating this approach into their work and to those who are already engaged with it. This book gives an intriguing and detailed snapshot of the state of the art in this area, and thereby offers many points of entry for those who wish to move it further."
"…taps into the richness of the dialectic approach that makes it a complex and realistic assessment of some aspects of relational life. Its pages contain a variety of provocative ideas, often reframing many processes in ways that provide new insights. And, while it is not a how-to guide for methods, it addresses many questions researchers may have about using dialectical methods."
—Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Contents: Preface. L.A. Baxter, B.M. Montgomery, A Guide to Dialectical Approaches to Studying Personal Relationships. R.L. Conville, Telling Stories: Dialectics of Relational Transition. A.P. Bochner, C. Ellis, L. Tillmann-Healy, Mucking Around Looking for Truth. W.K. Rawlins, Writing About Friendship Matters: A Case Study in Dialectical and Dialogical Inquiry. K. Dindia, "Going Into and Coming Out of the Closet": The Dialectics of Stigma Disclosure. C.A. VanLear, Dialectic Empiricism: Science and Relationship Metaphors. B.B. Brown, C.M. Werner, I. Altman, Choice Points for Dialecticians: A Dialectical-Transactional Perspective on Close Relationships. B.M. Montgomery, L.A. Baxter, Dialogism and Relational Dialectics.