Relational Dialectics

April 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments

A dialectical approach to communication starts with the acknowledgement that opposing desires/commitments are present at all times.  In our relationships and interactions we try to negotiate contrary commitments:

Autonomy and Connectedness

Favoritism and Impartiality

Openness and Closedness

Novelty and Predictability

Instrumentality and Affection

Equality and Inequality

These were articulated by Leslie A. Baxter in 1988, and in a larger landscape, a dialectical approach comes from Mikhail Bakhtin and a Yin-Yang perspective.  Instead of viewing problems I encounter as one-way departures from a norm, it helps me to think about how opposing forces shape the problem at hand.

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