Creating Good Relationships
Edited By Vince Waldron and Douglas Kelley
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.
Introduction: In Search of the Good Relationship
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In Search of the Good Relationship
VINCENT WALDRON & DOUGLAS KELLEY
Welcome to a conversation that has been developing for several years among researchers and students of personal relationships—a conversation about the kinds of communication practices that make relationships good, in the moral sense of that word. This emerging dialogue has displaced what we perceive to be an implicit code of silence, a ban self-imposed by many of us in the name of social science. Until recently, to pose a research question about morality along with, say, queries about the appropriate statistical procedures for analyzing parent-child interaction, would seem anecdotal and inconsequential to the “real” purpose of relationship research. However, we strongly believe that “good” questions are essential to research on personal relationships.
Like awkward party guests (no comments from those who know us!), we are steering the conversation toward unfamiliar, even uncomfortable, moral themes. And, like teenagers at their first school dance, we decided not to dance alone. As you will see, the chapters contributed to this volume were penned by top researchers of family communication, both well-established sages and brilliant new voices. As scholars of family communication, we are self-invited guests stumbling at a late hour into a soirée on the ethics of communication—one convened long ago by colleagues who find their homes elsewhere in our diverse discipline (for exemplary reviews see Arneson, 2007; Arnett, Harden Fritz,...
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