theories of friendship


Apparently we don’t have any, at least good ones, according to Joseph Epstein. Freud had a theory (the punchline: friendship is about seduction), as did Aristotle and Montaigne. NPR’s Diane Rehm interviewed Epstein on his book Friendship: An Expose today (see my earlier post here). Interesting. You can listen to the interview here.

Written by teppo

July 11, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Posted in books, teppo

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  1. […] Friendship appears to be a hot topic at present (see my recent post on Joseph Epstein’s book or Brayden’s post on a recent ASR article). Below another addition to the (broadly) ’sociology of friendship’ literature, a Princeton University Press book by Liz Spencer and Ray Pahl titled Rethinking Frienship: Hidden Solidarities Today [copy of introduction here]. Here’s a related article by the second author from last week from the Prospect. A few lines about the book: [T]his book is about friendship in its broadest sense, but it is also about friendship in the context of the significant others who inhabit our micro-social worlds. We call these sets of significant others personal communities, and examine the role of friends and friend-like ties within them. Because of this focus, our book deals with those friendships that are considered important in people’s lives; our research does not tell us much about the dark side of friendship, about unsatisfactory, competitive or destructive relationships, though this is undoubtedly an important theme. Our study has also focused on adult friendships, rather than friendships among children, adolescents, and in old age, since these have been the subject of many other studies. […]


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