Friends, neighbours and communities

Marian Barnes

in Care in everyday life

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428233
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307686 | DOI:
Friends, neighbours and communities

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The interpersonal significance of care goes beyond those circumstances in which illness, disability or age generate a need for support. Friendship has received little attention in comparison with work on family or community, but its significance as a political value has been explored and its importance in terms of quality of life has been demonstrated. Its importance is also evident in work that has considered collective action amongst service users and amongst community groups and organisations seeking changes in policies and services that will improve their lives. Some seek friendship through collective action and for those whose motivations are more obviously political rather than personal, friendship can still be a force that sustains action. Studies of lives within residential care and of those attending day centres also highlight the importance of the friendships that develop between those who use such services. This chapter considers relationships between friendship and care within communities and within services. It considers how an ethic of care perspective might enhance an understanding of what friendship means and what it contributes to individual and collective well-being, and how a focus on friendship can inform our understanding of care.

Keywords: Voluntary relationships; Reciprocity; Equality; Particularity; Mutuality; Intimate knowledge; Diversity; Collective care; Solidarity

Chapter.  8382 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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