North Seattle Community College. Framework for Family Communication. Lecture 2 Gender and Family Communication. Framework for Family Communication.
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Families are defined primarily through their interaction rather than through their structure (Whitchurch & Dickson, 1999). “Through their communicative practices, parties construct their social reality of who their family is and the meanings that organize it” (Baxter & Braithwaite, 2002). This belief places communication at the core of family experience.
There are four levels of adaptability (change):
Cohesion-Adaptability Axis: Most well-functioning families are found short of the extremes, except when they are under high levels of stress. Also, families shift from one point to another on the axis during different stages of development
“The family is a system constituted, defined, and managed through its communication. Family members regulate cohesion and adaptability to develop a collective identity through the flow of patterned, meaningful messages within a network of evolving interdependent relationships located within a defined cultural context” (Family Communication 49).