Essay Friendship

In: Custom essay samples

Essay Friendship

Here is a short (approximately 1.5 page) essay on friendship.  You may use this sample to write your own essay on friendship.  However, be attentive not to copy anything without referencing as your teacher will find it out immediately.

Essay Friendship: Free Sample

…Friendships are not the only ties that help to integrate the individual into the social world. For the majority, kinship also plays a role in this. As different studies have shown, in the main it is primary kin -children and siblings - who are most significant in the lives of elderly people, though for some of the childless, a particular nephew or niece may be especially important. Interestingly, though, given some of the assumptions that are sometimes made, there is relatively little evidence that kin and friends can really substitute for one another. Indeed, a good deal of American research argues that overall the two sets of relationships play different functions in the lives of the elderly population. While it is possible that the situation in Britain is somewhat different, and that class-based variations in these patterns are more important than the American literature allows, the basic arguments are persuasive enough to consider more fully.

In general, the relationship between parents and their adult children can be characterised as one of positive concern. Each side feels a commitment to the other and a moral obligation to provide one another with support when needed. The nature of this support, and its direction, will vary over the life course, depending on the specific circumstances of those involved. When old age generates personal and social dependence, it is routinely children, and in particular a specific daughter or daughter-in-law, who provides care and support. However, at any time the great majority of elderly people are not in need of this form of support. Rather, their relationship with their children is more likely to be largely social in character, involving fairly regular contacts and visits, knowledge of each other's welfare and, where feasible and appropriate, minor assistance in each other's projects. The relationships, in other words, are premised on a long-standing commitment which is rarely broken. Yet it is important to note that the basis of the relationship is not of itself sociability and enjoyment, notwithstanding the class and gender differences emphasised in traditional kinship studies. Certainly, at times parents and their adult children will engage in sociable activities together, but, unlike the situation in friendships, this is not the underlying rationale for the relationship.

So, while descendent kin, and especially daughters, tend to play a far more significant role than friends in care provision as elderly people become increasingly dependent, in contrast they appear to be less successful as a means of integrating older individuals into the wider society…

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