ERIC Number: ED335724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
"Familia" or Family?: A Demonstration of the Inability to Generalize Cross-Culturally Present Research and Pedagogy on Families and Interpersonal Relationships.
Gonzalez, M. Christina
This paper contends that conceptions of healthy and non-healthy families and their corresponding communication behaviors and patterns are inextricably linked to cultural views of how family is defined. The paper argues that the theory from research and the pedagogy in the field are based on individualistic Euro-American conceptions of normal relationships and family. To demonstrate this point, the Mexican extended family is used in the paper as the basis for cross-cultural analysis of tenets of family and interpersonal communication theory popular in research and pedagogy. The paper sets the foundation for a program of research to include families and persons who do not share the dominant cultural views for the purpose of expanding the body of literature upon which communication scholars base their research and teaching. The paper provides specific suggestions (such as minimizing the cultural bias of theories, replacing cliche disclaimers with explicit descriptions of the nature of the culture to which a theory refers, doing more qualitative analyses to uncover the inconsistencies between cultures, and not limiting study to initial and primary sources of understanding) for the facilitation of such research, the goal of which is to diminish the likelihood of professional error in evaluating alternative cultural views of family and interpersonal communication as unhealthy or deviant due to a narrow theoretical base. (SR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Patterns; Research Suggestions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicgao, IL, May 23-27, 1991).