This paper endeavors to understand the meaning and use of relational dialectics theory by examining various print and online literatures.
People use various communication approaches to deal with opposing and contradictory forces inherent in interpersonal relationships (Prentice, 2009). According to Prentice (2009), relational dialectics provide insights into the process that people go through as they socialize with new comers. Various dialectical tensions have been identified. According to Baxter (2004), these tensions occur along specific internal dimensions of a relationship, such as autonomy-closeness, openness-closedness, and predictability-novelty. External and internal dialectics may occur in a myriad of different combinations (Baxter, 2004). Thus, various researchers have re-conceptualized relational dialectics as knot of contradictions; overlapping centripetal and centrifugal forces that are interrelated rather than existing as simple binary oppositions (Baxter, 2004). This paper is based on the communication paradigm of interruptive social science theory.
According to Suter and West (2011), relational theories’ abstract and intimidating nature compromises students’ ability to comprehend the importance of their immediate relationships. Relational theories, including rational dialectics, provides students with perspectives to examine and constructively make use of lived experiences such as those with their roommates, lovers, friends and family members. Suter and West (2011) sought to evaluate the disconnect between theory and experience. Most importantly, the researchers aimed at valuating students’ uneasiness in retention and use of relational theories. The researchers argue connection-retention and application determine the success of students, and are influenced by active teaching techniques and classroom settings that encourage student motivation