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Communication Issues in African American Relationships

  • Date Submitted: 04/06/2010 07:49 AM
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Communication Issues in African American Relationships

Many studies have been conducted on Africans Americans and their interactions in intimate relationships. More so, research has been conducted in order to find reasons behind relationship failures and persisting problems in relationships among African Americans. While the exact causes as to why there are relationship issues or why relationships may fail are inconclusive, research as provided insight on some factors that could contribute. Psychologist and author of the University of Georgia, Dr. Veronica Duncan is one of the many researchers who have provided a perspective on relationship issues among African Americans. Duncan (1998) concluded in her research that one of the most prevalent problems in African American relationships is lack of communication.
In Duncan’s book (1998), Towards Achieving Maât: Communication Patterns in African American, European American and Interracial Relationships, she states that African American males and females are living in a European mindset.
"When they were in Africa, there was a much greater balance and harmony between males and females, and in many ways they complemented each other and each received accolades in certain areas. The problem arose when we developed a culture in which there were dominating, controlling men and independent and assertive woman. Early on, African American males and females were set in opposition to each other (Duncan, 1998)."
The acceptance of a European standard had led African Americans toward the issue of vulnerability because they have strayed away from working together (Duncan, 1998). In other words, because of the fear of vulnerability, there is lack of expression in intimate relationships. This failure to communicate effectively is the source of many problems. Dr. Philip Williams (1998), professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, reviewed Duncan’s book and piggyback’s on to say that the real issue is that African...


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