Constructing Ourselves Through Dialogue

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1999, Vol 44(2), 138–139. Review of the book “Dialectical Approaches to Studying Personal Relationships” (see record 1998-07268-000). Each chapter in this book voices a position in one or more ongoing dialogues. One dialogue is centered in the field of personal relationships and asks how the dynamics of individuals and their relationships can be best conceptualized dialectically. A second dialogue is concerned with dialectical process among scholars and argues for higher standards of collegiality and more openness to new ideas. A third dialogue addresses methods and considers the pros and cons of ideographic and nomethetic approaches from a dialectical perspective. This multiplicity of dialogues and the multiplicity of voices within each dialogue is a strength of this edited volume. Because the book is truly a dialogue in process, its greatest strength is the way it encourages intellectual play about a wide variety of subjects. However, there is a need to identify important theoretical questions in the field of personal relationships that (a) cannot be adequately or fully answered effectively with more traditional approaches and (b)that dialectical approaches are especially well-equipped to handle. This book is recommended to scholars in the field of personal relationship research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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