Family Communication: Cohesion and Change / Edition 8

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Family Communication examines the communication processes within families and how they affect and are affected by larger social systems. By viewing the family as a communication system with identifiable patterns, this text encourages students to analyze family interaction patterns analytically and thoroughly. Using a framework of family functions, first-person narratives, and current research, Family Communication emphasizes the diversity of today's families in terms of structure, ethnic patterns, and developmental experiences.

New to the 6th Edition:

  • Reflects increasingly diverse family experiences while maintaining a strong focus on patterns and systems of the traditional family.
  • Incorporates information on "alternative" families throughout the text, eliminating the perception that there is a "right" type of family.
  • Includes a new chapter on "Power, Influence, and Decision Making," which discusses new research on influence strategies in families and provides students with the latest information on a growing area of the field.
  • Adds new information on religion, economics, jealousy, abuse, and multigenerational families to provide students with more thorough coverage of different family structures and to address the "dark side" of family communication, thereby addressing the most common issues and current trends in the field today.
  • Expands discussion of relational maintenance in keeping with the current literature in the field (Ch. 6).
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The presentation of systems theory is the single best treatment that can be found in a textbook. It is outstanding!” — Leslie A. Baxter, University of Iowa

The latest edition of an introductory-level college text for students of family related courses in communication, psychology, sociology, counseling, and home economics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205718931
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen M. Galvin (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. Her research interests focus on the social construction of families, particularly the discourse-dependent nature of families formed outside of full biological and traditional legal ties. She is the author of “Diversity’s Impact on Defining the Family: Discourse Dependence and Identity” in The Family Communication Sourcebook as well as related pieces on adoption, particularly transracial and/or transnational adoption, and family decision making in high stakes health situations involving minor children. She is the senior author of “Whose Future Is It? Ethical Family Decision Making about Daughters’ Treatment in the Oncofertility Context” as well as a co-author “Learning about Cancer and Fertility: A Guide for Parents of Young Children.” In addition, she served as the senior author of Family Communication: Cohesion and Change, throughout its earlier eight editions and the editor of Making Connections: Readings in Relational Communication, now in its 5th edition.

Carma Bylund, PhD, is Assistant Director of Medical Education at Hamad Medical Center in Doha, Qatar. She is a researcher and teacher whose areas of expertise are healthcare communication and family communication about health. Dr. Bylund is the author of 59 peer-reviewed publications and 16 edited book chapters. Dr. Bylund received her PhD in Communication Studies from Northwestern University in 2001. Dr. Bylund was most recently Director of the Communication Skills Training and Research Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Associate Research Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Bylund’s teaching and research focuses on developing, implementing, and assessing interventions to improve patient and clinician communication. In addition, she has researched and published on family communication about genetics and family communication and storytelling.

Dawn O. Braithwaite, PhD, is a Willa Cather Professor and Chair of the Communication Studies Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She studies how people in personal and family relationships interact and negotiate family change and challenges. Her current work is centered in understudied families, communication rituals, and relational dialectics in the context of stepfamilies and voluntary kin. Dr. Braithwaite is the author of 95 articles in journals scholarly books, and co-author or editor of five scholarly books: Family Communication: Cohesion and Change (9th edition), Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication Engaging Theories in Family Communication, Casing Interpersonal Communication: Case Studies in Personal and Social Relationships and Handbook of Communication and People with Disabilities.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction to the Family 1
Ch. 2 Framework for Family Communication 22
Ch. 3 Family Theories 52
Ch. 4 Communication Patterns and the Creation of Family Meanings 75
Ch. 5 Symbolic Meanings and Relational Maintenance: Family Rituals, Currencies, and Stories 106
Ch. 6 Intimacy and Closeness within Families 135
Ch. 7 Communication and Family Roles and Types 168
Ch. 8 Power, Influence, and Decision Making 197
Ch. 9 Communication and Family Conflict 230
Ch. 10 Communication and Family Stress: Developmental Issues 269
Ch. 11 Family Communication and Unpredictable Stress 310
Ch. 12 Contextual Dimensions of Family Communication 343
Ch. 13 Improving Family Communication 366
Bibliography 394
Name Index 427
Subject Index 435
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