'... der Freiheit reinste That, und auf das eigne Sein des Menschen allein gerichtet': Die Freundschaft in Geschichte und Gegenwart.
Eine soziologisch-historische Untersuchung.
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General description:

In Sociology, the topic of friendship can be considered a neglected subject. However, since the early 80's of the 20th century there is a continual increase in studies of friendship. Yet, the discussion of friendship has a much longer tradition. Since ancient Greek times friendship has been discussed in various terms: From mutual support between ancient warriors to moral
duty and universal ties between all human beings. The way of thinking about friendship corresponds with the historical and cultural model or script of this relationship. Ideal conceptions and actual relationships are not separated entities. In this study, I distinguish
between the mode of appreciating friendship and the variable structure of its meanings. I refer to this structure as the "social order" of friendship, using a term of Berger/Luckmann.
Friendship is a social order of its own and undergoes certain developments and transformations throughout history. This is the main hypothesis of this work.
I start with pointing out different ways of friendship-modelling in Sociology and Social Psychology. From classical Sociologists to modern System Theory there can be a strong tendency to systematization and alienation of the phenomenon noticed. Systematization
means that all approaches and theories dissect friendship into single elements, which do not originate from the "social order" of the phenomenon. Personal Relationships researchers, for example, understand friendship as an exchange process in which the individuals evaluate the costs and rewards of interacting with a potential friend and then decide whether they should increase or decrease the level of involvement. In this perspective, friendship seems to be a material product that has to be developed by individuals. Therefore, I draw the conclusion that the Social Scientists do not want to understand and explain the phenomenon, moreover
they make it operabel for further quantitative empirical studies.
The second part of this work shows how the systematic scientific approach emerges already in 18th century friendship theories. In the classical world and in the Middle Ages, friendship
was discussed in terms of essence and appearance (substantialistic perspective), while in early modern times the discourse was divided into two main streams: the analytical approach
(systematic perspective) and the holistic approach (synthetic perspective). Especially the early Romantic movement developed synthetical perspectives on friendship (e.g. Bettina von Arnim, F. Schleiermacher, F. Hölderlin).
At the end of this study I interpret the modern models and theories of friendship as historical documents which reflect the present condition of the phenomenon in western societies.

Creator (person):Schinkel, Andreas
Cooperator:Universität / Fakultät für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften
Keywords:Historical anthropology
Sociology of knowledge
Classification:(IBOA)A.3:Fachgrenzen und das Verhältnis zu anderen Wissenschaften / A.3:Anthropology, its scope and its relations to the other sciences
H.1:Politsche Anthropologie / H.1:Politcal anthropology
K.1:Anthropologie der Technik / K.1:Anthropology of Sciences
Type of Source:Magisterarbeiten, Dissertationen, Habilitationen
Access authorisation:frei zugänglich
Audience:Wissenschaftliches Personal / scientific community
Subject:Folklore Studies
Recorded in the Catalogue in:24.03.2004
Last change:18.04.2005

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