Relational Dialectics Theory: A New Approach for Military and Veteran-Connected Family Research
Communication, contrapuntal analysis, discourse-dependence, military families, nonnormative families, relational dialectics theory, veterans
Journal of Family Theory and Review
Military and veteran-connected family scholarship focusing on transitions has a lengthy history across disciplines. Much of this research involves normative military families (i.e., a service member husband and civilian wife with biological children); however, military families are diverse, due in part to societal and military policy changes (e.g., marriage equality; repeal of “don't ask, don't tell”). Although theories used in the past might still apply, we argue that critical theories are useful, even necessary, for studying the experiences of normative and nonnormative military families (e.g., those with same gender spouses or parents, stepfamilies), as both are nontraditional relative to their civilian counterparts. We share an approach developed within communication, relational dialectics theory (RDT), that focuses on power from a critical perspective and offers ideas for potential positive social change. RDT also provides contrapuntal analysis, a method ideal for studying relational turning points and transitional periods of military and veteran-connected families.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Sahlstein Parcell, Erin and Baker, Benjamin M.A., "Relational Dialectics Theory: A New Approach for Military and Veteran-Connected Family Research" (2018). Faculty Publications. 678.