We're Just Good Friends
Women and Men in Nonromantic Relationships
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This book provides a long-overdue look at the challenges and rewards of nonromantic friendships between women and men. Drawing from a range of literature and her own extensive research, the author presents her examination of these relationships in a clear organizational framework. Topics covered include the everyday dynamics of cross-sex friendships and their societal effects and influences. The author also explores ways that these relationships are developed and maintained, and ways they may come to an end. Illustrated with numerous interviews and segments of conversations between male and female friends, the book offers important insight into such issues as gender-role expectancies, relationship norms and goals, and cultural assumptions about friendship and sexuality. The book will suit readers in sociology, social psychology, communication and gender studies, as well as others interested in social networks and personal relationships, including family and couple therapists. It will also serve as a classroom text in undergraduate and graduate-level courses in interpersonal communication, close relationships, gender studies and social psychology.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Comparisons with Paradigmatic Social Relationships. Friendship Features and the Influence of Gender. Opportunities for Development and Continuance. Managing Romance and Sexuality. Managing Third-Party Relationships. Conclusion. Appendix A: Methods of Research. Appendix B: Interview Protocols and Survey Questionnaires.
"Werking manages to quite successfully pull off that delicate balance between reporting research and capturing life experiences. Numerous quotations from interviewees make the chapters come to life and provide glimpses into the wealth of data she's analyzed. Furthermore, Werking situates the research in context and with an awareness of social norms. The reader will see the workings of a friendship across the backdrop of social and relational context - a very integrative approach In short, a compelling text - a must read!" - Joy L. Hart, University of Louisville