Added: Marcee Sliva - Date: 18.11.2021 10:29 - Views: 49445 - Clicks: 6415
Interpersonal relationships are a vital part of everyday life. Human beings need these relationships in order to survive. However, the way Americans classify the different stages of an interpersonal relationship has changed over time. The first dimension of this study will examine how interpersonal researchers define different stages in relationships, how those definitions have changed over a period of three generations, and the role communication plays in that process of change. The second dimension of this study will examine how personal individual s of relational development support what the theoretical background suggests.
Romantic relationships are a fascinating display of human interaction, in which communication plays a vital role, thus the reason for the focus of this study on that facet of interpersonal communication. While researching the topic of interpersonal relationships and how they are classified, I was intrigued by the role of communication in the process. In addition, the knowledge I have gained in pursuit of higher education has continually piqued my interest, specifically in the areas of the dating process and the development of romantic relationships.
The aforementioned reasons are why I decided to focus my thesis work on the topic of change in interpersonal relationships, and the specific role of communication within that process. In addition to the substantial amount of research that has been conducted on this topic, I decided to conduct some personal research.
The research I conducted consisted of interviewing individuals from three different generations, oftentimes within the same family, and comparing and contrasting the dating patterns and interpersonal relationships of each generation.
I was expecting certain patterns of differing relationship definitions to emerge, and they did.
However, there were also some interesting trends that I discovered which were less expected. The objective for presenting information related to romantic relationships is to inform readers of the critical role of communication in the relational development process, thus equipping them with the information necessary for improvement in relational communication.
Literature Review. A substantial amount of research has been conducted in the area of relational development. During the evaluation of that research, three basic catalysts for change, in the development process of romantic relationships, were found. The main agents involved in transitioning a romantic relationship from one stage to the next were technology, time and activities, and communication.
Because of that perception, Whyte focused his study on how the institution of dating had changed over the last century. The custom of dating began in colonial times but by the s the popular practices were referred to as calling and keeping company Whyte At that time, one young woman could have several men calling on her at the same time. With the passage of time came an advance in the dating process in America. The shift of influence and the activities involved in the dating process both contributed to the new way of defining a romantic relationship.
The question remains, what caused the shift from calling to dating in the American culture? Whyte proposed three ideas to explain the shift. Men and women were exposed to each other informally over a longer period of time, thus transforming their type of social and interpersonal interaction. Technology, specifically the invention of the automobile, was the third catalyst for change presented by Whyte.
Having an arranged marriage with mom and dad in control is certainly not the desirable method of dating for American youth today. Finding a balance between those two extremes is where the current generation of daters find themselves. What has caused this shift? Whyte and others argue communication; particularly the vocabulary used to define and discuss romantic relationships. For many young people, the expansive relational vocabulary allows them to define stages of a relationship unidentifiable to generations. In fact, many young adults argue that the current styles of dating are more natural and healthier than those experienced by the generation of their parents and grandparents Whyte There are other opinions as to what causes a relationship to shift from one stage of dating to another.
Dan Cere, ethics scholar at McGill University in Montreal, identified three dating patterns emerging among the current generation of young people. He believed that theory was a result of the capitalistic society most young people find themselves immersed in. Among communication scholars, the level of self-disclosure remains one of the most popular methods used in defining the different stages of romantic relationships. Joe Ayres argued that physical appearance, mutual awareness, interaction, and a willingness to be influenced create the necessary environment for self-disclosure in relational development Berger, Gardener, Clatterbuck, and Schulman conducted an experiment to determine the level of self-disclosure present in relational development.
They found that biographical information would be discussed in the initial portion of an exchange while more intimate information like sexual preferences would be discussed at the latter stages of the relationship Ayres Research in the fields of sociology and psychology has also contributed to the discussion about self-disclosure.
Altman and Taylor believed that if rewards in an encounter exceeded costs, the interactants would gradually exchange more and more intimate information Ayres While the details of their ideas differ, one element is consistent in all of the aforementioned theories regarding self-disclosure - the communicative act is undeniably present, at least in some degree, in the developmental process of romantic relationships.
Mark Knapp remains one of the most influential researchers in the area of relational development, with a focus on the role of communication within the process. Knapp conducted a study that examined the different terms that were commonly used in identifying relationships at various stages of intimacy. That finding demonstrates the power of communication within the development of interpersonal relationships. Simply the term used to describe a relationship causes the amount of self-disclosure to either increase or decrease.
Mark Knapp was also instrumental in discovering the catalyst for change in romantic relationships. With his theory of coming together and coming apart, Knapp revolutionized the research on how relationship participants classified the different stages of their relationships. It was not until Knapp entered the discussion, that communication gained recognition as an equally viable method of development. Knapp argued that it was communication that caused a romantic relationship to transition from the initial meeting stage to a more intimate stage of interpersonal interaction.
Once again the underlying question remains, what factor allows for distinguishing between these different stages? That increased romanticism included such elements as t recreation, enhanced social status, increased peer approval, companionship, intimacy, and support Davies and Windle With the invention of the cell phone, computer, and other technological gadgets, the dating process has been transformed. Matchmaking websites such as eharmony. Cell phones, with their ability to communicate via text messages, have radically changed the role of communication in the development process of romantic relationships.
Potential dates no longer have to meet face to face in order to find out important details about the other. They can communicate viainstant messenger, or social websites such as Facebook and MySpace. According to a recent article in the St. With the infiltration of technology into the dating process, the current generation of young adults seems to be utilizing those mediums to their highest potential. Clark seemed to focus her information on the topic of cyberdating as it occurs in chat rooms. Clark argued that girls were not the only ones who benefited from online dating. Another perspective on the impact of technology on the dating process comes from a recent article in the St.
Louis Post Dispatch. Intimacy is lost. Coleman also addressed the role of communication in the current development of relationships.
According to the article, Ms. Coleman was not against online proclamations of love, but she emphasized the risk of such interpersonal endeavors. With a foundation of related theoretical research on the topic of relational development now laid, we are able to move into the second dimension of this study. You may recall that the second dimension of this study involves the evaluation of how personal individual s of relational development support what the theoretical background suggests. It is clear that a substantial of ideas on relational development are currently in circulation.
I was in no way able to cover all of them, but I selected a sampling from the contributing fields of study. I used a lot of the information included in the research of others to guide my personal research conducted in this study. My main objective with the extensive theoretical background was to have a basis for evaluation of the existence of such dating patterns in actual relationships. I was especially interested in how the definitions of dating patterns had changed over a period of three generations. In order to evaluate the dating patterns of the decade, I chose to interview individuals of the particular generation.
I looked at three different generations. Those individuals who dated during the s and s will be referred to as the grandparent generation. Those individuals who dated during the late s and s will be referred to as the parent generation. And those individuals who dated in the late s or are currently experiencing the dating process will be referred to as the current generation.Dating through generations
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Data Study: Generational Dating Differences & Similarities