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  • Print publication year: 2018
  • Online publication date: June 2018

27 - Aggression and Violence in Romantic Relationships

from Part VII - Threats to Relationships

Summary

In this chapter, we discuss how new communication technologies are reshaping interpersonal relationship formation, maintenance, and dissolution. Through this evaluation, we extend existing research on the socio-technical affordances of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and relational processes by (1) synthesizing the current state of mediated personal relationships research across these three relational stages and (2) describing how each relational state is influenced by the affordances of new communication technologies. An affordances framework is especially useful for evaluating and understanding complex relationships and interactions on social media platforms because it captures the plastic nature of communication tools and the user practices that accompany them, providing a more holistic understanding of the interactions between users and the tools and how these relationships evolve over time. We argue that using an affordances framework to evaluate interpersonal relationship processes highlights how social and technological attributes shape interaction patterns while acknowledging individuals’ agency in deciding how they use communication tools. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research in this area and describes some of the unique methodological, theoretical, and practical challenges of studying mediated interpersonal relationships.
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