© 2018

The Nation and the Promise of Friendship

Building Solidarity through Sociability


Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Danny Kaplan
    Pages 1-19
  3. The Theoretical Framework

  4. The Case Studies

  5. Concluding Thoughts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 221-227

About this book


When strangers meet in social clubs, watch reality television, or interact on Facebook, they contribute to the social glue of mass society—not because they promote civic engagement or democracy, but because they enact the sacred promise of friendship. Where most theories of nationalism focus on issues of collective identity formation, Kaplan’s novel framework turns attention to compatriots’ experience of solidarity and how it builds on interpersonal ties and performances of public intimacy. Combining critical analyses of contemporary theories of nationalism, civil society, and politics of friendship with in-depth empirical case studies of social club sociability, Kaplan ultimately shows that strangers-turned-friends acquire symbolic, male-centered meaning and generate feelings of national solidarity. 


nationalism politics of friendship cultural sociology social clubs national solidarity Military friendships Big Brother national attachments social performance ehtnography Freemasonry

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Gender Studies ProgramBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

About the authors

Danny Kaplan is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and directs the Men Studies center at the Gender Program at Bar Ilan University, Israel. Kaplan specializes in the study of solidarity through the prism of friendship and mediated sociability. He is the author of The Men We Loved: Male Friendship and Nationalism in Israeli Culture (2006).

Bibliographic information


“The book will be attractive not only to sociologists and scholars of nationalism but also to those who are interested in the political implications of performances of public intimacy and in the formation of a civic space.” (Hizky Shoham, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 26 (1), 2020)