In this volume, William K. Rawlins traces and investigates the varieties, tensions, and functions of friendship for males and females throughout the life course: how they are managed communicatively, and how they infl uence and refl ect their participants' continually evolving senses of self, relationships, and community. He argues that friendship inherently involves certain dialectical tensions within the larger culture, between friends, and within and across the stages of the life cycle. He also examines notions and meanings of friendship: ethical, civic, romantic, utilitarian, and mundane.
“Outstanding Title!... Rawlins's intention is to develop a framework for understanding "the varieties, tensions and functions of friendship over the life course." His conclusion is that friendships are "ongoing communicative achievements often pursued in the face of incompatible requirements." Reflecting 12 years of theoretical and empirical research, Rawlins's book draws on 100 interviews of people across the life span, as well as on a vast array of novels, plays, and short stories… This meticulously referenced book is sophisticated, well written, and a worthwhile challenge. The interview segments bring the subject to life, and the literary segments relate the research to works of art. Upper-divison undergraduates and above.” —S. Reinharz, Choice