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Browsing by Subject "relational dialectics"

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  • Yin, Yi (2021)
    The parent-child relationship is arguably one of the most vital relationships within a family. Relevant studies have focused on the dynamics between parents and children in the family communication field, especially on underage children. At the same time, the family is not an isolated island but a unit in a society. Hence, social-cultural contexts have significant impacts on parent-child communication. Migration, as an indicator for changes in the surroundings, influences the communicative practices within a family as well. This research dwells on Chinese immigrant families in Finland, explores the relationship between parents and their adult children. Adopting a relational dialectics perspective, the study aims at identifying competing discourses and their interplay. Through interviews with four dyads of parents and adult children, this research conducted a contrapuntal analysis to examine their relationship. Three pairs of competing discourses are identified: closeness versus distance, authority versus independence, and responsibility versus wuwei (no action). In short, the discourses of closeness, independence and responsibility have been more favored in various manners. Findings from this study revealed the significant influences of migration, manifested as the distal social-cultural factors in the interviewees’ utterances. Results of the analysis also indicate an emphasis on communication and dialogue in the parent-child relationships, which flows with the Chinese traditional thinking of pursuing harmony.
  • Dänner, Ann (2023)
    Intercultural romantic relationships with partners of diverse cultural backgrounds have become increasingly ordinary in our globalized and internationalized world. Yet, research investigating such relationships concerning their communication practices and relationship maintenance strategies is sparse until today. Thus, this thesis investigates the communicative and discursive practices of partners in intercultural romantic relationships by applying Baxter’s Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0 (RDT 2.0) (2011). The study aims to investigate which competing discourses arise in intercultural romantic relationships, how meaning is constructed through the discursive interplay and which role digital media play in those contexts. Data for this study was collected through semi-structured interviews with five intercultural romantic couples and analyzed with thematic and contrapuntal analysis. The analysis revealed three main sets of internal competing discourses in intercultural romantic relationships: balance–asymmetry, distance–proximity, and change–constancy. It furthermore uncovered an overarching discursive struggle of ordinariness–uniqueness that connects all previous sets of competing discourses. While the three main discursive struggles seemed shaped by a relatively synchronic interplay of the competing discourses, the interplay of the overarching competing discourses appeared to fluctuate with the topical context (diachronic separation). The findings suggest that intercultural partners do not see cultural differences as conflict-causing but rather as enriching and initiating personal and relationship growth. Instead, differences in language skills or changes caused by relocation might influence and challenge intercultural couples and their discursive struggles much more. The study further demonstrates a great importance of digital media and messenger services for such relationships that reflect and enable the creation and growth of intimacy between partners. More extensive and longitudinal research could contribute to an even deeper understanding of the competing discourses in intercultural romantic relationships, which could, in turn, support counseling and advising of intercultural couples and families in the future.