ERIC Number: ED225202
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Communication Patterns, Contradictions, and Family Functions.
Yerby, Janet; Buerkel-Rothfuss, Nancy L.
Families are rule-governed systems of interdependent individuals whose interaction follows an intricate pattern of behavior. Communication patterns in a family reflect and emerge from contradictions in rules. A function may be defined as something that a system does and must do if it is not to break down. For instance identity and stability involve the performance of a family function, since failure to achieve both usually leads to the disruption or termination of the relationship. But since these two goals are contradictory, families evolve strategies in an attempt to negotiate, through coordination, the identity-stability function in the relationship. The contradictions in logic that the family members bring to these situations are the manifestation of the difficulty they have in resolving the dilemmas inherent in the management of essential family functions. These observations suggest need for research to (1) identify how couples talk about their dilemmas and contradictions; (2) develop a taxonomy of family functions; (3) investigate the paradoxes in logic used in the process of coordination and rule development in the family; and (4) test effectiveness of strategies that stress the importance of communication skills but do not take into account the complexity of the family context. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982).