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Psychological Studies

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 185–192 | Cite as

Maintenance of Family Networks: Centrality of Peripheral Communication

  • Giuseppina MarsicoEmail author
  • Nandita Chaudhary
  • Jaan Valsiner
  • Maliina Lyberth
Target Article (with peer commentary)

Abstract

Families are social units that expand in time (across generations) and space (as a geographically distributed sub-structures of wider kinship networks). Understanding of intergenerational family relations thus requires conceptualization of communication processes that take place within a small collective of persons linked with one another by a flexible social network. Within such networks, Peripheral Communication Patterns set the stage for direct everyday life activities within the family context. Peripheral Communication Patterns are conditions where one family network member (A) communicates manifestly with another member (B) with the aim of bringing the communicative message to the third member (C) who is present but is not explicitly designated as the manifest addressee of the intended message. Inclusion of physically non-present members of the family network (elders living elsewhere, deceased relatives, ancestors’ spirits, etc.) in efforts that use Peripheral Communication Patterns creates a highly redundant social context for human development over life course which is the basis for family members’ resilience during critical life events. Examples from the social contexts of Greenland, Italy and India will be analyzed to arrive at a general model of the role of peripheral communication as the core of intergenerational value transfer processes.

Keywords

Peripheral communication Family networks Inter-generational relationships Communication strategies 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The preparation of this paper was supported by INSIDE Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg, and by Niels Bohr Professorship Centre of Cultural Psychology to the first author. The writing of this paper was facilitated by funding from the Brazilian Ministry of Education (CAPES/PVE), for a research visit to Salvador, Bahia, provided to the third author. The fourth author benefitted greatly from the funding by AAGE V. Jensens Fund that made it possible to participate in academic activities.

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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppina Marsico
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nandita Chaudhary
    • 3
  • Jaan Valsiner
    • 4
    • 5
  • Maliina Lyberth
    • 4
  1. 1.Università di Salerno, ItalyFiscianoItaly
  2. 2.Universidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  3. 3.Lady Irwin CollegeUniversity of Delhi, IndiaNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Niels Bohr Professorship Centre for Cultural PsychologyAalborg UniversitetAalborgDenmark
  5. 5.Université du LuxembourgWalferdangeLuxembourg

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