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Moral Talk Across the Lifespan

Creating Good Relationships


Edited By Vince Waldron and Douglas Kelley

Grounded in path-breaking research but written in an accessible, engaging style Moral Talk Across the Lifespan explores how our most fundamental moral commitments are shaped by crucial conversations with family members, romantic partners, and friends. Taking a lifespan approach, the authors demonstrate that moral growth is a continual process, one stimulated by transitions (e.g., leaving home for university) and disruptive events (serious illness). With chapters penned by leading relationship scholars, the volume contributes original thinking, data, and innovative theoretical pathways for researchers. For instructors it explores pressing moral questions encountered by students in their own relationships with romantic partners, friends, parents, and other family members. When is revealing a secret the right thing to do? Is revenge ever a worthy response to an insult or sleight? Why are young adults persuaded to accept some of their parents’ values but not others? Is there a right (or wrong) way to support a parent facing a terminal illness?
Moral Talk Across the Lifespan offers a stimulating blend of social science research and moral reflection. It is a key text for courses in Relational Communication, Family Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Communication Ethics.
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Leslie A. Baxter is Collegiate Fellow, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, where she was also named F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor. She has published 160 scholarly articles, chapters, and books, and she is honored to have received several awards from various professional associations for her scholarship. She is interested in the discursive struggles of meaning making, especially in post-nuclear families.

Dawn O. Braithwaite is a Willa Cather Professor and Chair of Communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She studies how people in personal and family relationships interact and negotiate family change and challenges, focusing on communication in understudied and changing families, communication rituals, and dialectics of relating in stepfamilies and among voluntary kin. Dr. Braithwaite has authored over 100 articles and is co-editor or co-author of five books. She received the National Communication Association’s Brommel Award for Outstanding Contributions in Family Communication, the division’s Book Award, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Research in Social Science. Dr. Braithwaite was named the Western States Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2014 and is currently a Senior Fellow with the Council ← 211 | 212 → on Contemporary Families. She is a Past President of the Western States Communication Association, received the Distinguished Service Award, and was President of the National Communication Association. 

Megan Cole is a Ph.D. candidate at Arizona State University where she studies communication in mediated and face-to-face...

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