Friendship As a Social Institution

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2010-01-07
  • Publisher: Routledge
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What is the social organization of love, friendship, rivalry, marriage, admiration, collegiality, parenthood, acquaintance, and clientage? How are these types of relationships similar and how do they differ? Few sociological works exist on relationships between friends, business partners, customers and clerks, mailmen and homeowners, and employers and employees, as social rather than role relationships. This classic book remains of interest because it focuses on voluntary personal relationships relationships that people need not enter, whose content is up to the participants, whose rules are what the participants agree they will be.The authors create an analytic framework within which to describe and compare the enormous range of relationships between two persons. They detail the shape and structure of such relationships, consider their organizational dynamics, their range and the nature of deviance in them, and point out analytical variables and dimensions upon which relationships can be located for comparative purposes. Organizational change in terms of how relationships are formed, developed, and transformed is covered, as is their function and dysfunction for the individual and society.By regarding social relationships consistently from the viewpoint of social organization theory, the book assimilates them to sociological concepts in general, but with an eye to the social psychological and organizational features that render them distinctive as a type. Friendship as a Social Institution sustains the study of friendship by making distinctions and outlining the problems connected with the study of social relationships.

Author Biography

George J. McCall is professor emeritus of sociology and public policy administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is author of numerous books and articles including Identities and Interactions and Issues in Participant Observation. Michal M. McCall was professor of sociology at Macalester College. He is coauthor of Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies. Norman K. Denzin is professor of sociology, Cinema studies, and interpretive theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He authored several books, including The Alcoholic Society and Children and Their Caretakers. Gerald D. Suttles is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Social Order of the Slum and The Man-Made City. Suzanne B. Kurth is professor of sociology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
The Social Organization of Relationshipsp. 3
Organizational Components of Relationships
Organizational Dynamics of Relationships
Organizational Change in Relationships
Boundary Rules in Relationships and Encountersp. 35
Boundary Rules and the Focus
Threats to the Boundary Rules-Alienation and Change
Rules of Conduct and the Study of Deviant Behavior: Some Notes on the Social Relationshipp. 62
The Nature of Social Relationships
Relational Morality and Propriety
Perceptions of Relational Impropriety
Relational Morality and the Broader Social Order
Friendship as a Social Institutionp. 95
The Cultural and Situational Elements of Friendship
Self Exposure and Institutional Restrictions on Friendship
The Private Culture of Friendship
Friendships and Friendly Relationsp. 136
Desirability of Friendly Relations
Friendly Relations in Contrast with Friendships
Factors Affecting Bases of Association
Organizational Constraints on Association
Processes of Friendship Formation and Development
Friendship Development and Maintenance
Character of Negotiation Within a Stable Relationship
Summary and Conclusions
A Collaborative Overview of Social Relationshipsp. 171
The Nature of Social Relationships
Organizational Dynamics
Organizational Change
Interorganizational Relations
Functions and Dysfunctions for Individual and Society
Problems of Research
Bibliographyp. 183
Analytical Indexp. 191
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