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Reflexive audiencing practices for couple relationships-in-action

This doctoral study offers couples opportunities to be audiences to their own lives as a couple. It does this on the premise that a reflexive, recursive, process of acting and reviewing and acting enhances relationship possibilities. The study researches what couples say about their experiences of the effects of a process that offers them opportunities to go beyond readily available, perhaps at times rather limited, understandings of coupledom. In going beyond what is readily available, the study investigates what couples’ value in the unique and original ways two people reflexively select to live out their lives and relationships. This study is located in poststructural and social constructionist theoretical landscapes. It constructs and then investigates reflexive audiencing practices. Reflexive audiencing draws from diverse but related theoretical perspectives such as narrative therapy, relational language-making conversations, positioning theory, deconstruction, reflexivity, performance and Appreciative Inquiry. Video, a facilitated process of preparation, and inquiry guides provide a scaffold for partners to take up and investigate relationship conversations as couples. The video/audio technology provides layers of positions from which to speak, view, re-view and review their relationship conversations as spect-actors – actors, audience and critics to their relationship performances. Through these reflexive audiencing processes, couples identify discursive practices that shape their relationships. They deconstruct these practices and reconstruct them on terms that take into account their preferences, purposes and unique relationship contexts. The thesis argues that through reflexive audiencing, couples can reposition themselves to look at, and hear, and speak their relationship conversations-in-action. It proposes that reflexive audiencing makes practices such as relations of gender/power, humour, meaning-making, and understanding, visible and audible in ways that extend couples’ discursive repertoires. It conceptualises these practices of couple relationship as complex, dynamic, situated and dialogic, and shows that reflexive audiencing practices have benefits for a couple’s conversations. The study also provides an illustration of researcher reflexive-practice-in-action and shows the work of reflexive audiencing processes unfold in a doctoral research supervision relationship. It argues that reflexive audiencing practices have possibilities for contexts outside coupledom, such as therapy, supervision and research.
Type of thesis
Talbot, W. (2012). Reflexive audiencing practices for couple relationships-in-action (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6100
University of Waikato
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