Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Friendship List

Hey Guys,

Just another interesting article I came across while researching for blog 2. It talks about the "types" of friendships/relationships that we commonly form and what factors commonly influence whether or not we will form a friendship/relationship with another person.

Firstly, what are the different "types" of friendships

1. Acquaintances: people we know and recognise.

2. Neighbours: people we live nearby. Neighbours often participate in exchange relationships -- feeding cats and babysitting. I wonder if flatmates should be lumped in here too. Or perhaps they're more like co-workers.

3. Confederates: an unequal pair, a side-kick etc.

4. Pals: people who share an activity, whether spectators or participants. If the activity disappears, the friendship may disappear too. Think drinking buddies, footy pals etc.

5. Close kin: family. Family are not necessarily all friends of course, but they can be, and I think there is a great range in the degree of the relationship.

6. Co-workers: the people you work with may see more of you than anybody else, and inevitably they get to know you in some ways. Often we are distant from the people we work with so that they may know us very well in limited ways and not at all in others. We can have co-workers who happen to be friends or friends who happen to be co-workers. The best way to tell which we have is by thinking about what would happen if one of us switched jobs. Would the friendship survive?

7. Friends: the category that transcends the others, soul mates.

Next, what it takes to form a friendship:

8. Proximity: this one's fairly obvious. You need some form of contact, perhaps physical, but with the Internet, proximity can span the globe now. The point of this factor is that who you are "near" determines the pool you can draw your friends from. It may be, for example, that most of your friends have come about through your workplace connections, or from your university days.

9. Similarity: homophily, or a preference for people of similar gender, marital status, class, education, age, and so forth, characterises most friendships. But of course in society we tend to encounter similar people anyway (for example the people we work with probably have a similar age and level of education, while the people we live alongside are probably of similar class and income).

10. Reciprocal liking: Some form of attraction is required to encourage the investment that the development of a friendship requires.

11. Self-disclosure: being open about your thoughts, life, desires, failures, concerns, and successes. This is the one men traditionally find troublesome.


Thanks guys!

1 comment:

James Neill said...

Hi Emma,

This does seem like a useful article. It's good to see a different kind of break-down of types of friendships. I wonder if there are underlying theoretical elements which be used to distinguish between the types, e.g., is Sternberg's triangular model of love useful? Friendships may not have the sexual element (although some friendships and other friendships are often sensual), but they share many aspects of close/intimate relationships. I wonder what makes them different?

Just some ponderings.

I've also posted a few links here, which might be helpful: Friendship