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Papers in Communication Studies

Relational dialectics

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Full-Text Articles in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Empty Ritual: Young-Adult Stepchildren’S Perceptions Of The Remarriage Ceremony, Leslie A. Baxter, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Jody Koenig Kellas, Cassandra Leclair-Underberg, Emily Lamb Normand, Tracy Routsong, Matthew Thatcher Dec 2009

Empty Ritual: Young-Adult Stepchildren’S Perceptions Of The Remarriage Ceremony, Leslie A. Baxter, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Jody Koenig Kellas, Cassandra Leclair-Underberg, Emily Lamb Normand, Tracy Routsong, Matthew Thatcher

Papers in Communication Studies

This qualitative study investigated 80 young-adult stepchildren’s talk about one of their parents’ remarriage ceremony. The remarriage event was celebrated in six types of ritual enactments, five of which celebrated the couple’s marriage and one of which was family-centered in its celebration of the beginning of the new stepfamily. Three factors led stepchildren to find the remarriage ceremony empty: (i) a ritual form that was too traditional or not traditional enough; (ii) a ritual enactment that failed to pay homage to either the stepchild’s family of origin or the stepfamily as a unit; and (iii) a ritual ...


Stepchildren’S Perceptions Of The Contradictions In Communication With Stepparents, Leslie A. Baxter, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Leah E. Bryant, Amy Wagner Aug 2004

Stepchildren’S Perceptions Of The Contradictions In Communication With Stepparents, Leslie A. Baxter, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Leah E. Bryant, Amy Wagner

Papers in Communication Studies

This interpretive study, framed in relational dialectics theory, sought to identify stepchildren’s perceptions of the contradictions that animate communication with the stepparent in their household of primary residence. In-depth interviews were conducted, producing 802 pages of double-spaced interview transcripts, which were analyzed inductively for commonly experienced contradictions of stepchild-stepparent communication. Three underlying contradictions were identified. First, stepchild-stepparent communication was perceived to be characterized by a dialectic of integration, characterized by both closeness and distance. Second, stepchild-stepparent communication was perceived to be characterized by a dialectic of parental status, in which the stepparent was, and was not, granted legitimacy in ...


“I Do” Again: The Relational Dialectics Of Renewing Marriage Vows, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Leslie A. Baxter May 1995

“I Do” Again: The Relational Dialectics Of Renewing Marriage Vows, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Leslie A. Baxter

Papers in Communication Studies

This study provides descriptive insight into the dialectical themes of one public relationship ritual in modern US society, the renewal of marital vows between spouses. Interpretive analyses of in-depth interview data revealed that this ritual allows spouses to manage three underlying dialectical contradictions: private-public, stability-change, and conventionality-uniqueness.