Friends (and Enemies)
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Friends (and Enemies) book
In the Western world, friendship is one of the few types of relationship that is not defined in terms of what the participants do together.1 Of course it may be that two individuals are friends in part because they like doing the same things but, so far as defining friendship is concerned, it does not matter what those are. So-called dating relationships also involve activities of many sorts, and may evolve out of friendship (see Davis & Todd, 1985, cited later). And kin relationships in general are also not defined in terms of the content of the interactions, but the individual has no choice as to his/her relatives, while choice is the essence of friendship. Since friendship is little institutionalised and is usually not marked by public ritual, since the benefits it brings are diverse and perhaps peculiar to the particular relationship, and since it may be relatively uninfluenced by social pressures, one quality is essential for its cohesion-a degree of affection between the participants. When friends come together it is out of choice-they enjoy each other’s company and the activities they share (Auhagen, 1991, 1993).