Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

10.8: Friendship

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    A dictionary definition of friendship is "one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independent of sexual or family love." Friendship is the "unofficial" bonds that people construct for others. As ties to kinship transform the importance of friendship increases. This brings about the emergence of new forms of friendship.[40]

    Examples of Friendship

    Friendship within the Family

    Even though Western societies try to separate friendship and kinship, in practice they are usually connected. This is best seen in husbands and wives consider themselves best friends or siblings considering each other best friends.

    Platonic Parenting

    Platonic parenting is two people raising a child, or several children, together usually in a single home, without any sexual or romantic commitment. This is often the result of homosexual men or women that either can't afford or don't want to deal with the hassle of a sperm/egg donor. Many people believe that even though the child would be brought up in a home that isn't made from marriage, it is better than other situations because the child(ren) will have a loving support system that won't depend on a lover, a husband or a wife, but rather two friends that want nothing but the best for them.[53] Another common reason for platonic parenting is when a child has been brought into a home and the parents divorce or fall out of love, but don't want to physically split, so they stay parenting the child as friends.

    Platonic Friendship

    A common brand of friendship, typically established in youth, is platonic or egalitarian friendship. Humans tend to surround themselves with others who share their interests or their aesthetics, but the bond they share is only companionship. These friendships pave the way for others, but are not explicitly necessary in developing different kinds of bonds, such as romantic ones. These friendships can occur at any age, and some establish some links that last for their entire lives.

    Friends With Benefits

    Another form of friendship that many in Western culture are familiar with is friends with benefits. The practice of having a 'fwb' is often used in order to have sexual intimacy with someone you know and trust without the intention of developing feelings of love or intimacy. Many see these types of relationships as a healthy way to express sexuality without becoming attached, while others have doubts that a friends with benefits scenario is possible to maintain without developing romantic feelings for your partner.

    This page titled 10.8: Friendship is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Wikibooks - Cultural Anthropology (Wikibooks) .

    • Was this article helpful?