Contrapuntal Analysis: Examining the Contradictions of Discourse in Commuter Marriage


This case study describes how the authors re-analyzed interview data from the first author's dissertation study to shed light on the relational and cultural discourses surrounding the context of commuter marriage. This re-analysis used a method called ‘contrapuntal analysis’, a methodological outgrowth of communication scholar Leslie Baxter's Relational Dialectics Theory. After the background of the original study is described and the basic procedure of Baxter's contrapuntal analysis is explained, the authors detail how they went about conducting the analysis. This case study is the backstory of that analysis, which ended up being published as an article in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and explains how this collaborative re-analysis using contrapuntal analysis was accomplished. We hope that it will provide direction for other relational researchers in a variety of disciplines who would like to use contrapuntal analysis as part of their methodological tool kit.

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