DOI: 10.1177/14703572231213936 ISSN: 1470-3572

Visual-related conflicts in close relationships

Federico Lucchesi, Katharina Lobinger
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Communication

This study explores visual-related conflicts, that is, interpersonal conflicts arising from the problematic use of visual communication and visual practices in close relationships. A total of 90 semi-structured pair and individual in-depth interviews with romantic partners and friends were conducted by applying a repertoire-oriented approach. The article explores how the polysemic nature of visuals and different visual practices (e.g. sharing, archiving and deleting visuals), especially related to mundane everyday visual content, contribute to conflictual situations among partners and friends. Specifically, the results highlight that visual-related conflicts occur around miscommunication through interpersonal communication, non-negotiation around visual sharing, not including partners in online relational presentations, online monitoring activities on social network sites and intrusive requests to delete visuals. This study extends the understanding of potential risks to close relationships from problematic uses of visual communication.

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