COM 310 Family Communication

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Unit Two

Chapters 4 and 5

RAT over Chapters 4 and 5

In class: Wednesday, February 1: Create the perfect family:

What communication rules would they have (3-5)? What other rules? How do these rules affect family functioning, cohesion and flexibility?

What maintenance strategies would they use (3-5; be specific, don’t just list the categories)? How do these strategies help to maintain cohesion and flexibility?

What rituals would occur (3-5; both daily and as celebrations/traditions)? How do these rituals affect family functioning, cohesion and flexibility?

What relational currencies (3-5) will they use?  How do they affect family functioning, cohesion and flexibility?

What family secrets (3-5) do they have? How do they affect family functioning, cohesion and flexibility?

family with dpg

In class: Monday, February 6th: Talk about the components of your perfect family: Anything wrong with them?  Missing?


Do one of the following:

Examine the rituals in one or two families (real or fictional). Describe a couple of rituals and talk about why they have come about, what purpose they seem to serve, and what effects they have on the family.


Find or create two examples each of essential, toxic, and dangerous secrets. Discuss the real or potential consequences for the family of these secrets.


Analyze one or two family stories that tend to be told when your family gets together. Consider the performance of the story: Who tells the story? When and where? etc. Does the story fulfill any of the six functions listed in your text? What are the consequences for the family (or family members) of this story being told?

Video alternative: Any of these options can be done as video options; i.e., record the rituals, narrate the information; ask a family member to tell a common story etc.

Family analysis blogs.

Add an analysis of 3-5 important rules to your family analysis blog. What are the rules? How did they come about (if you know)? Have they changed over time? Is that change (or lack thereof) good or bad for the functioning of the family? Explain.What effect do they have on your family (or the family you are studying)?

Blog comments (some potential considerations for comments): Any rules from your class "family" members surprise you? Why? Which rules seemed to be functional given the family situation? Any rules you feel your family would benefit by adopting?