“In this marvelous book, Beverly Fehr presents a comprehensive and richly detailed examination of what scholars have learned about the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of friendships…. Overall, a model of careful scholarship, clear writing, and good sense. For anyone studying friendships, there is no better place to start. This is perhaps the best book of its kind.” --Choice Friends are an integral part of our lives--they sometimes replace family relationships and often form the basis for romantic relationships. Friendship Processes, new in the Sage Series on Close Relationships, examines exactly how friends give meaning to our lives and why we rely so heavily on them. Broad in its coverage, the book is process oriented and research based with each phase of the friendship process documented by empirical research. The result is a conceptual framework that illuminates the fascinating components of how we make friends, how we become close, how we maintain friends, and how friendships deteriorate and dissolve. Author Beverley Fehr equips the reader with valuable knowledge about the formations and continuations of the intriguing personal relationship called friendship. Friendship Processes also illustrates well the fact that, as a field of study, close relationships is maturing rapidly. Promising to be the definitive study of the subject for many years to come, this book will be of particular interest to professionals, academics, and students of social psychology, sociology, communication, family studies, and social work as well as any interested reader who is anxious to deepen his or her understanding and appreciation of a very engaging topic.

Achieving Closeness

Achieving closeness

You can probably remember times in your life when you were a stranger to everyone around you; perhaps as a “new kid” in school, your first meeting when you joined a club, or your first day on a new job. You longed to get over the stranger stage so you could be included in the apparently effortless and friendly interaction around you. And gradually it happened, the newness wore off, you became more familiar with the others and felt included in their activities and conversations. By some unspoken mutual agreement, you grew particularly close to a few of them, and you became friends.

—Wilmot and Shellen (1990, p. 414)

Some relationships develop from acquaintanceships to casual friendships; some casual friendships develop into close friendships ...

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