The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication

By William R. Cupach; Brian H. Spitzberg | Go to book overview

Now, in considering this interdependent web of structural, relational, and contextual patterns of interactional paradoxes, what implications for further study emerge? The pressure to produce "results" in research (especially quantifiable results) is strong, and any possibility of operational formalism is sure to be exploited. This is the path of conventional revisionism in social and behavioral science, and crowded as the path may be with bodies of bright ideas led down it ("credibility," "cognitive dissonance," "self-disclosure," "egoinvolvement," "communication apprehension," etc.), it is the way that most know best. There is a certain ephemeral security in being able to"tie an idea down" even knowing, as did Wordsworth, "we murder to dissect." But paradox will put up a good fight. For those who choose to tangle in this fashion, their work is cut out (albeit in the form of a Mobius strip).

Alternatively, in resisting the temptations of operational monism one can use paradox in one way as an early crude model for the shape that interac-

tional concepts might take, moving then laterally to develop similarly rich metaphors in an aformalistic spirit of discovery. Or one might move to enlarge, rather than reduce, the idea by exploring its descriptive power at many different levels over a wide range of contexts.

Whatever the case, an idea that has endured for 2,500 years in philosophy is likely to survive whether relegated to the dark side of interpersonal communication or viewed more properly held up to the light.


REFERENCES

Abeles G. ( 1976). Researching the unresearchable: Experimentation on the double bind. In C. E. Sluzki & D. C. Ransom (Eds.), Double bind: The foundation of the communicational approach to the family (pp. 113-149). New York: Grune & Stratton.

Bateson G. ( 1955). "A theory of play and fantasy". Psychiatric Research Reports, 2, 39-51. ( Reprinted in G. Bateson, 1972, Steps to an ecology of mind [pp. 177-193]. New York: Ballantine.)

Bateson G. ( 1969, August). Double bind, 1969. "Symposium presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association", Washington D.C. ( Reprinted in G. Bateson, 1972, Steps to an ecology of mind [pp. 271-278]. New York: Ballantine.)

Bateson G. ( 1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine.

Bateson G., Jackson D. D., Haley J., & Weakland J. H. ( 1956). Toward a theory of schizophrenia. Behavioral Science, 1, 251-264. ( Reprinted in G. Bateson, 1972, Steps to an ecology of mind [pp. 201-227]. New York: Ballantine.)

Bavelas J. B. ( 1983). Situations that lead to disqualification. Human Communication Research, 9, 130-145.

Bavelas J. B., Black A., Chovil N., & Mullett J. ( 1990). Equivocal communication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Benson T., & Anderson C. ( 1989). Reality fictions: The films of Frederick Wiseman. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Berger M. (Ed.). ( 1978). Beyond the double bind: Communication and family systems, theories, and techniques with schizophrenics. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Bochner A. P. ( 1982). "On the efficacy of openness in close relationships". In M. Burgoon (Ed.), Communication yearbook 5 (pp. 109-2). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • References ix
  • PART I - Shades of Darkness in Interpersonal Relations 1
  • Chapter 1 - Stratagems, Spoils, and a Serpent's Tooth: On the Delights and Dilemmas of Personal Relationships 3
  • Acknowledgments 20
  • References 20
  • Chapter 2 - The Dark Side of (in) Competence 25
  • References 41
  • PART II - The Maze of Messages 51
  • Chapter 3 - Messages that Hurt 53
  • Acknowledgments 78
  • References 78
  • Chapter 4 - Patterns of Interational Paradoxes 83
  • References 100
  • Chapter 5 - Equivocations as an Interactional Event 105
  • References 122
  • PART III - The Face Beneath the Masks 125
  • Chapter 6 - Conversational Dilemmas 127
  • References 157
  • Chapter 7 - Social Predicaments 159
  • References 176
  • Chapter 8 - Deception 181
  • Acknowledgments 211
  • References 211
  • PART IV - Relational Webs 215
  • Chapter 9 - Relational Transgressions 217
  • References 238
  • Chapter 10 - Privacy Binds in Family Interactions: The Case of Parental Privacy Invasion 241
  • References 256
  • Chapter 11 - The Dark Side of "Normal" Family Interaction 259
  • References 276
  • Chapter 12 - Physical and Psychological Abuse 281
  • References 306
  • PART V - Fetching Good out of Evil 313
  • Chapter 13 - Dark Side Dénouement 315
  • References 319
  • AUTHOR INDEX 321
  • SUBJECT INDEX 335
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