Relationships are far more than emotional attachments or bonds. They are not merely happy, emotionally satisfying elements of our lives but they significantly shape our experiences of the world and contribute to our senses of identity, our outlook on life, and even the way in which we think about things. In "Rethinking Relationships", noted human relationship scholar and professor, Steve Duck, integrates diverse systems of thought and offers a new and distinct way to think about relationships and relating. The book deals with such questions as 'How do people know their world?', 'How much of what we know is individual knowledge and how much comes from groups and our personal relationships to other people?' and 'How does membership of relationships structure our experience, affect our ranges of knowledge, and organize our daily lives?'. The book introduces a variety of communicative situations by means of which individuals establish, reconstitute, and demonstrate their membership of communities and relationships. However, the book also develops the idea that these relational activities serve epistemic functions, which is to say that they construct, constrain, or facilitate means through which a person knows and experiences the world. Relationships are more than satisfying reliable alliances with others; rather they are communicative loci where the person's knowledge of life is shaped, formed, and interpreted. Thus relationships are both an influence on our ways of thinking and also are places where we sculpt our identity and learn or modify our worth to others. Features & Benefits: interdisciplinary approach and draws on the conceptual frameworks for many different scholarly traditions, providing the reader with a truly holistic perspective; pedagogy that connects the material to students' lives; and, 'Try this out' section in each chapter indicates ways in which students can employ the concepts used in the chapter. Students are encouraged and directed to refer the abstract concepts discussed in the chapter to their own daily experience. This title features: 'Look for this in the media' - students are guided to discover examples of a concept as presented by TV and other media; 'Listen to your own conversations' - students are encouraged to attend carefully to their own conversations and glean evidence to illustrate items discussed in each chapter; 'Keep a journal' - students are encouraged to keep a journal for class discussion and will be asked to record and report on their observations about experiences in their daily life that would help to illustrate the chapter concepts; 'Self questions' - students are presented at the end of each chapter with a number of questions that invite them to reflect on their own performance of relationships; and, 'Practical matters' - students are directed to some issues in the chapter that have practical application in the broader social world beyond their academic or personal experiences.