Managing and Maintaining Friendships

  • Rachel Brooks


In Chapter 4, I argued that the differences between friends, which were made explicit by the process of choosing HE courses and institutions, helped to explain why the young people involved in this study were reluctant to engage in conversations about HE. Recent theorizing on the nature of friendships would suggest that, as the young people became aware of such differences in social location, the equality of their friendships would come under increasing pressure and, in such circumstances, would be likely to change. For example, Allan (1998b) contends that: ‘one of the principal features of friendships and other such non-kin sociable relationships is that those involved regard and treat one another as social equals’ (p. 76) and goes on to argue that:

Difference can be tolerated provided it does not undermine the sense that each party has of the other treating them as of equal social, worth. Where such balance is missing, sustaining the relationship as friendship becomes problematic… friendships often lapse if one side’s structural location alters sufficiently to make the routine portrayal of equality difficult. (pp. 76–77)


Young People Young Woman Close Friend Good Friend Friendship Network 
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Copyright information

© Rachel Brooks 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Brooks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of SurreyUK

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