Title

Relational Transitions: An Inquiry Into Their Structure and Functions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-1988

Department

Communication Studies

School

Communication

Abstract

Over the years there has been a persistent concern over the nature of relational transitions, the use of case study methods to investigate them, and a phenomenology of relationship partners. In this study, these three concerns were brought together and a structural analysis was performed on two spouses' narrative accounts of their near divorce. The analysis indicated (1) that the two accounts had a common underlying structure involving four types of episodes: Anticipation, Separation, Discovery and Reconciliation; (2) that the structure of the accounts was marked by three types of dialectical oppositions: affect, intimacy and time; and (3) that the period of relational transition was a time for the establishment of new meanings and new rules for relational practice. Further research was suggested on the role of crisis in relational regeneration.

Publication Title

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Volume

5

Issue

4

First Page

423

Last Page

437

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