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Rethinking Relationships
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In this book, Steve Duck, a founder of and prolific crossdisciplinary contributor to the field of relationships research, challenges students to re-examine their assumptions about relationships. Duck shows that in order to understand relationships properly, students must understand the roles that society, language, our taken-for-granted assumptions, and other people who share those assumptions play in the conduct of relationships. By analyzing talk and the material circumstances of our everyday lives, the author provides a number of features that help students apply the information to their own lives:

  • Questions to Ask Your Friends: By discussing issues with their friends, students are able to see the cultural and social basis of some of their assumptions
  • Discussion Questions: These questions provide thought-provoking topics for individual reflection or class discussion
  • Listen in on Your Own Life: This feature asks students to find examples in their own lives and those of their friends
 
1. Old and New Ways of Seeing Relationships
What Do Relationships Do For You?  
A Brisk Look at Research and Assumptions  
A Different Approach  
Do Relationships Make You Who You Are?  
References  
A Preview of the Book  
 
2. Personal and Social Orders: Relating, Meaning and Talking
Two Important Ideas: Social and Personal Orders of the New World  
The Social Order and the Language of Relationships  
References  
 
3. What Has Personality Got to Do With Relationships?
What Is Personality Anyway?  
The Early Years: Formation of Personality and Relationship Style  
How Does Personality Connect to Relationships?  
The Answer  
References  
 
4. The Bodily Materiality of Relating
Symbolically Connecting the Material World to the Social World  
The Material World and Sociability  
Experienceing a Material Self  
Physical Experiences the Influence Relationships  
Conclusion  
References  
 
5. Sense and Sensuality: The Relationship Between Sexual Activity and Knowledge of the World
Physical Performance of Emotions and Feelings  
Sex and Society  
Three Theories of Sexual Epistemics  
Epistemics and Various Social Orders  
References  
 
6. Wealth, Place, Gifts, and Rituals: The Material Structures and Practices of Relational Experience
The Material Circumstances of Relationships  
Material Social Circumstances and Relationships  
Material Gifts and Relationships  
Conclusion  
References  
 
7. The Language of Relationships in a Social Order
Language in a Social Order  
The Rhetorical Situation  
Symbolic Structures in Talk: Metaphors in a Social Order  
Stories About Relationships in the Social Order  
Connection to the Next Chapter  
References  
 
8. Talk and Speaking Personal Orders
The Surroundings of Conversation  
Forms of Talk and Speaking  
Getting to Know You: Unscrambling Another Person's World of Meaning  
The New Look at Relationships  
References  
 
Index
 
About the Author

A good resource to contribute to and complement lecture material. Boxes which prompt discussion and personal reflection make this a very student-friendly text and the content is engaging and clear.

Dr Laura Soulsby
Department of Psychology, Liverpool University
April 4, 2014

Very interesting how it makes your rethink all you know about interpersonal relationships.

Mrs Maartje De Graaf
Media, Communication & Organisation, Twente University
November 19, 2013

Locates thinking about relationships in a wide and relevant context.

Mr Keith Walmsley-Smith
Psychology & Mental Health, Staffordshire University
February 7, 2013

An exceptional book for those interested in moving beyond mainstream accounts of relationships. Duck is taking a truly relational view by focussing on the role of language, broader systems of meaning, and lived experience. Would recommend this to all relationships researchers. Also written in a clear, accessible style.

Mr Matthew Colahan
School of Psychology, University of East London
December 14, 2012

Comprehensive on human relationship topics.

Mr BRIDGET SMITH
Education , ART INSTITUTE OF MICHIGAN
April 30, 2012
Key features

Key Features:

  • Questions to Ask Your Friends: By discussing issues with their friends, students are able to see the cultural and social basis of some of their assumptions
  • Discussion Questions: These questions provide thought-provoking topics for individual reflection or class discussion
  • Listen in on Your Own Life: This feature asks students to find examples in their own lives and those of their friends