Chapter

Introduction

Daniel J. Hruschka

in Friendship

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520265462
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947887 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520265462.003.0001
Introduction

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The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First, it brings to the foreground the unique ways that friendships, defined here as long-term relationships of mutual affection and support, have helped people deal with the struggles of daily life in a wide range of human societies. Depending on the culture, friends share food when it is scarce, provide backup during aggressive disputes, lend a hand in planting and harvesting, and open avenues of exchange across otherwise indifferent or hostile social groups. Behavior among friends is not necessarily regulated in the same way as behavior in other relationships, such as those among biological kin or mates. The chapter argues that the help provided by friends is regulated by a system based on mutual goodwill that motivates friends to help each other in times of need.

Keywords: friendships; relationships; mutual affection; human societies; friends; behavior; kin; mates; mutual goodwill

Chapter.  6334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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