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Article Study on the Friendship Concept Essay

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Updated: Mar 27th, 2022

Brief Introduction

In the critical review article, the views of Norman Kutcher on the formation of friendships are discussed in detail. Kutcher noted that friendship was extremely beneficial when it came to the formation of relationships in societies that subscribed to Confucianism.

In particular, Kutcher talked about the fifth relationship, which was indeed a valued principle in the Confucian society. In this article, the views of other scholars are discussed in order to strengthen the works of Kutcher. Friendship is a concept that has been analyzed by a number of scholars due to its importance in uniting people in society.

The Power of Female Friendship

Dobransky, P. (2008). The Power of Female Friendship. New York: Penguin Books.

The above scholar conducted an extensive study on the differences between women and men concerning the formation of friendships. He noted that human behavior should be analyzed differentiating between the mind and the brain. The mind is software while the brain is a collection of specified anatomical bits of hardware.

Using the brain is remarkably easy and elegant as opposed to the utilization of the mind. In the same way, men are different from women because they have different gender instincts. The analysis of this scholar is similar to that of Kutcher because he differentiates between human brain and the mind. Kutcher noted that there exists a difference between friendship and family ties. Friendship has an ability to influence the morality of an individual (Dobransky, 2008).

The above researcher came up with a system that would help friends in solving problems easily. Furthermore, an individual can resolve internal conflicts that come about as a result of forming friendships through the model developed by the researcher.

For instance, issues to do with professional prosperity, family links, sense of belonging, finding a mission in life might be resolved through the application of the Quantum psychology theory. Apart from resolving internal conflicts, an individual can utilize the theory in strengthening friendships and improving relationships with other people. However, to resolve internal conflicts and solve interpersonal issues, an individual must be well connected to other members of society.

It is surprising to note that the theory can help an individual in resolving issues affecting the environment. The researcher observed that two members of the same gender might have different high brains, but their emotions might be similar. It is common to find members of the same gender behaving in a similar way. Negative emotions have negative effects, which drive friends away from an individual.

For instance, an individual loses potential friends when he or she lacks emotional energy in life. For an individual to form relationships easily, he or she must have a consistent emotional energy. A majority of women appreciate the fact that they are feminine, and they need to live according to the societal standards. As a responsibility, a feminine character should be caring and nurturing.

Kutcher noted that Confucianism encouraged women to be caring and tender because they had a responsibility to ensure that children are brought up well. However, friendship in mature commitments is formed based on mutuality. This means that individuals calculate the benefits and loses of the relationship before engaging in it.

From the article, it is established that a number of factors influence friendship, including consistency, mutuality, shared values, and positive emotions. However, the scholar uses a mechanistic theory, which was applied in the functioning of machines. The scholar equates human behavior to objects that cannot change when being tested. Human behavior is subject to change because people react when they notice that a test is being conducted on them. In this sense, the views of the scholar are misplaced.

However, his views can be applied in understanding the formation of friendships, particularly among female friends. The scholar used valid sources that could explain the behavior of women in relationships. For instance, he used the works of Johnson Allan on the Gender Knot, which explains in detail how women form links in the patriarchic societies. The works of Borrows Kate on “Envy” were also incorporated successfully.

Micro and Macro Friendships

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

The scholar noted that social networks, such as friendships, serve as the linkage between micro and macro levels of sociological analysis. For instance, the strength of dyadic relations serves as an example to the linkage between micro and macro analysis of human behavior. An individual can establish either micro or macro relationships in society. The two levels of friendship are related in some way because one influences the other.

The relationship between micro and macro relationships influences the way an individual distribute information. Moreover, the social mobility of an individual is determined by the ability to strike a balance between the two forms of relationships. If an individual fails to strike a balance between micro and macro relationships, stress would be inevitable. However, the scholar noted that most relationships that flourish in society are micro in nature.

Such relationships are common among groups and individuals. It is surprising to note that the scholar claims that weak relationships have a role to play in an individual’s life. In society, an individual’s political socialization and engagement in social activities serve as an example of macro level relationships (Granovetter, 1973).

Interpersonal networks play a critical role in ensuring that an individual forms close relationships with members of his or her group, as well as other members of society.

Through interpersonal interactions, people are able to form macro relationships. Through analysis, the scholar concluded that interpersonal relationships are linear. In this sense, the relationship is believed to be strong. For this to take place, an individual must commit time to the said relationship. Moreover, some aspect of emotional intensity and intimacy should be available for there to be a strong relationship.

Friends would only remain in a companionship if the relationship were reciprocal. This view is similar to the views of Dobransky and Kutcher. Dobransky noted that individuals would be willing to engage in mutual relationships only. For Kutcher, he noted that friendships are not similar to other relationships that take place in society. However, an individual decides to engage in a relationship that is more beneficial.

The scholar conducted a comparative study in order to distinguish a weak tie from a strong tie. For this to happen, he had to compare various variables. The sources used were suitable because they explained the issues surrounding friendships in detail. The scholar utilized the works of Simmel to expound on the importance of macro friendships.

However, he did not give valid reasons why people prefer forming weak relationships in some instances while creating powerful friendships at others. Kutcher observed that people formed strong friendships because the Confucian religion demanded that people come up with formidable friendships that would encourage peaceful coexistence.

Granovetter did not give a single reason why people form strong relationships at the micro level while they would simply prefer weak relationships at the macro level. However, his works are important when it comes to understanding the role of macro level friendships. Even though macro relationships are the weakest, they play a critical role to an individual’s life.

Effects of Poor Friendship: Peer Victimization

Boivin, M., & Hodges, E. (1999). The power of Friendship: protection against an escalating cycle of peer victimization. Developmental Psychology, 35(1).

The above researchers were interested in studying the various forms of friendships, as well as how such friendships influence human behavior. The presence of a friend in an individual’s life affects interactions in groups. When an individual lacks friends, peer victimization would be inevitable. In the study, they found out that more than ten percent of children suffer from victimization. In some instances, such children are often attacked because their peers tend to think that teachers obtain critical information from them.

Victimization is a result of nervousness, despair, solitude, and low confidence. In other words, lack of friendship results to depression. Moreover, unstable relationships among students results to poor performance and rejection (Boivin, & Hodges, 1999). All these are results of negative adjustment indexes, which are associated with unfair treatment from friends.

The two scholars further noted that victimization among peers is caused by specific factors. In other words, some conditions predispose children to peer victimization. One of the major factors that cause peer victimization is the proximal influence, which operates within the peer group.

In particular, social impairment is singled out as the leading cause of peer victimization. Certain children would behave in ways that attract victimization. This means that friendship is an aspect of life that demands commitment and seriousness. Children who lack humor, self-confidence, and self-esteem are victims of unfair treatment. In fact, such children give in to the demands of attackers easily, by relinquishing resources.

Victimized children have problems when it comes to internalizing difficulties in life. For instance, they might tend to be argumentative and aggressive. All these predispose them to unfair treatment. Therefore, two categories of factors affect peer victimization. One of them is individual risk factors, which are specific to each child, and the other one is social risk factors, which are related to interpersonal relationships.

Conclusion

From the three articles, it can be observed that friendship is a concept that affects individuals in a number of ways. It is formed through social interactions and interrelationships. Dobransky observed that gender is one of the factors that affect friendship. Individuals of the same gender tend to behave in the same way.

Moreover, he noted that people form friendships after calculating the benefits and the costs. For Granovetter, friendships are formed at two levels. One of the levels is micro while the other is macro. Micro friendships are very strong while macro friendships tend to be weak. However, weak relationships have a great role in an individual’s life. He also noted that friendships are formed based on the cost-benefit analysis.

Boivin and Hodges noted that poor friendships results to unfair treatment in society. The three articles relate to the works of Kutcher in a number of ways. The articles concur with the works of Kutcher in the sense that friendship is formed based on the cost-benefit consideration. Moreover, friendship has some negative effects to the life of an individual if not embraced fully.

References

Boivin, M., & Hodges, E. (1999). The power of Friendship: protection against an escalating cycle of peer victimization. Developmental Psychology, 35(1).

Dobransky, P. (2008). The Power of Female Friendship. New York: Penguin Books.

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

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