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Friendship, Intimacy, and the Self

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Everyday Friendships

Part of the book series: Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life ((PSFL))

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Abstract

This chapter continues to mine friendship’s freedom. It approaches that freedom from the perspective of the relationship’s internal dynamism, and so hopes to give some clues about how that freedom is constructed by friends and with what consequences. Beginning with describing friendship as delivering a sense of ‘home’ under conditions of modernity, I turn to the question of how friendship contributes to the making of selves. This question starts from the basic sociological premise that selves are socially constituted, that they are constructed in the business of relating. That is not to detract from the realities of an individual inner life, from an individual ‘reflexivity’ expressed in ‘internal conversations’ (Archer, 2003). Nor should a sociological perspective on the self dismiss the unconscious, the ‘“unthought known”, the precognitive and extra-cognitive knowledge without which we would not be ourselves’ (Bollas cited in Craib, 1998, p. 10). These areas butt up against the disciplinary boundaries of sociology, and I certainly cannot pretend to have expertise in them. What I can do, however, is emphasize that our humanness cannot be divorced from our sociality. In this chapter I want to focus that perspective on dyadic friendship based on the premise that ‘the self in friendship is … constituted by and particular to the friendship’ (Cocking & Kennett, 1998, p. 510).

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Notes

  1. For an attempt to marshal Mead’s concept in empirical research see Margaret Archer, Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation (2003).

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© 2015 Harry Blatterer

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Blatterer, H. (2015). Friendship, Intimacy, and the Self. In: Everyday Friendships. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137316400_5

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