Communication in Interpersonal Relationships

Edited by Donald P. Cushman & Dudley D. Cahn

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series, Human Communication Processes
Paperback : 9780873959100, 170 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873959094, 170 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents


1. Communication and its Role in Human Relationships
A Major Theme of our Age
The Need for a Paradigm Shift
A Multiple Systems Analysis
Some Implications
An Overview of the Book

2. Interpersonal Communication and Individual Self-Concepts
A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
The Nature, Function, and Scope of Individual Self-Concepts
The Role of Self-Concept Plays in Interpersonal Communication Processes
Listening, Cueing, and Negotiation Skills

3. Interpersonal Communication and the Development, Presentation, and Validation of Individual Self-Concepts
Self-Concept Support and Denial: The Focus of Interpersonal Interaction
Self-Concept Development
Self-Concept Presentation
The Validation of Individual Self-Concepts

4. Interpersonal Communication and the Formation and Maintenance of Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal Relationships
The Friendship Formation Process
The Mate Formation Process

5. Interpersonal Communication, Sexual Intimacy, Emotional Intimacy, and Interpersonal Relationships
The Alignment of Sexual and Emotional Intimacy
Aligning Sexual Intimacy and Emotional Intimacy: The Communication Complexities
Aligning Sexual and Emotional Intimacy in Context: The Communication Problems

6. Interpersonal Communication and the Reassessment of Relationships
Relationship Stress and Satisfaction
A Quality Communication Environment
The Continuation of a Relationship
The Repair of a Relationship
The Renegotiation of a Relationship
The Disengagement from a Relationship

7. Organizational Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
Communication in Organizations
Organizational Communication and the Supervisor—Subordinate Relationship
Employment Interview
Employee Appraisal
Supervisor—Subordinate Communication Problems

8. Cultural Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
Culture: A Tyrannizing Image
Culture and Communication
Interpersonal Communication in American Culture
American Culture and Marital Relationships
The Cultural Repair Ritual for Marital Problems

9. Cross-Cultural Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
Communication Between People from Different Cultural Groups
Interpersonal Communication in Japan and the United States
Organizational Communication in Japan and the United States

10. Telecommunication and Interpersonal Relationships
Telecommunication, Interpersonal Relationships, and Post-Industrial Society
Telecommunications: Bridging the Gap Between Man and Machine
Mass Communication: From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting in Communications Technology
Boss—Employee Interpersonal Relationships in an Information Age
Teacher—Student Interpersonal Relationships in an Information Age

Author Index
Subject Index


This book discusses communication principles, processes, and skills from four different perspectives by explaining four related propositions. First, human communication is guided by socially established rules, the knowledge of which allows interacting persons to exert influence over the outcome of their interactions. Second, self concepts are formed and sustained in our interactions with others. Third, the formation of sustained interpersonal relations depends upon the attraction resulting from reciprocal self concept support. And fourth, organizations and the cultural system provide the parameters within which self concepts and interpersonal relations are formed. The implications of these propositions are examined in chapters two through ten.

The authors develop their system in terms of results. What patterns of communication—what patterns of signal exchange—increase the probability of the development of affective relationship? What patterns erode interpersonal systems or prevent them from forming? The book also examines patterns of communication within task-oriented organizations and in situations involving cultural differences.

Donald P. Cushman is Professor of Communications at the State University of New York, Albany. He has published over 30 articles in scholarly journals and a book entitled Message-Attitude-Behavior Relationship. Dudley Cahn is Assistant Professor of Communications at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu.