The Dark Side of Close Relationships II

The Dark Side of Close Relationships II

The Dark Side of Close Relationships II

The Dark Side of Close Relationships II


The Dark Side of Close Relationships IIis a completely new and up-to-date version of the original volume published in 1998, featuring new topics and authors. The volume showcases cutting-edge work on important topics by prominent scholars in multiple disciplines. It sheds light on the paradoxical, dialectical, and mystifying facets of human interaction, not merely to elucidate dysfunctional relationship phenomena, but to help readers explore and understand it in relation to a broader understanding about relationships. As previous Dark Side investigations have revealed, negative or dysfunctional outcomes can occur in relationships even though positive and functional ones are expected, and at the same time, positive silver linings are often found in some dark relational clouds. Such nuanced approaches are needed to better account for the complexity of close relationships. A unique and provocative collection, this volume will appeal to relationship researchers in communication, social psychology, family studies, and sociology.


Now light cross-examines
the darkness and takes
newer proportions:
the babblings of terror and hope,
the debate of our wisdom, compelled
to change its receptacles

Pablo Neruda suggested in verse what we have hoped the dark side perspective will elicit and evoke in those who traverse its paths. In examining issues from a dark side perspective, we experience newer proportions, and change our theoretical receptacles for understanding our interactions and relationships.

The “dark side” continues to thrive as an important and pervasive theme in the study of interpersonal interaction and close relationships. This is evidenced by the number of university graduate courses focusing on the dark side of relationships, the amount of textbook space increasingly devoted to the subject, the number of convention programs sporting dark side themes, and the degree of research attention paid to dark side topics in influential journals. Clearly the dark side metaphor holds popular appeal for students of relationships and stimulates valuable research and discussion among scholars.

The dark side attempts to shed light on the paradoxical, dialectical, hidden, and forbidden facets of human relating. The purpose is not merely to elucidate dysfunctional relationship phenomena. As Duck opined in our inaugural dark side book (1994, p. 20), “Like the dark side of the moon, the dark side of relationships can be found to co-exist in the same entity as the light side. We need to explore and understand it not in itself but in its relation to everything else that has ever been learned about relationships.” The dark side draws attention to the fact that negative or dysfunctional outcomes can . . .

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