Current and much-needed, this book offers an analysis of the social forces which shape the way friendship is organized. Through varying perspectives, contributors show that a variation exists within–as well as between–the genders. They focus on diversity in men's friendships, and how men develop and maintain friendships with other men and women. Part I focuses on philosophical and historical questions; Part II illustrates the strong connection between social structure and men's friendships; and the final chapters consider cultural diversity. Men's Friendships reorganizes existing knowledge and introduces fresh perspectives within the framework of men's studies. This volume is sure to stimulate debate, raise questions, and offer suggestions for future research. “A very interesting collection, particularly those on black men's relationships–where the author compares working class and middle class black American men's relationships–a history of friendship and the changing nature of men's intimacy and power, and intimacy and sexuality in male athletes' friendships.” – Working with Men “Theory and research on men's studies are alive and well, and Peter Nardi's edited book, Men's Friendships, is a significant contribution to this literature. The book not only provides a useful account of how men develop and maintain their friendships, it introduces a variety of rigorous approaches (historical, sociological, and cross-cultural) to examine this topic.” – Journal of Men's Studies “Provides a thought-provoking, multifaceted look at how men handle friendship under a variety of conditions…. Some of the authors present data-based research findings; others give reflective integrative essays. General readers, undergraduate students, and above.” – Choice “Theory and research on men's studies are alive and well, and Peter Nardi's edited book, Men's Friendships, is a significant contribution to this literature. The book not only provides a useful account of how men develop and maintain their friendships, it introduces a variety of rigorous approaches (historical, sociological, and cross-cultural) to examine this topic…. Men's Friendships is not only an important contribution to men's studies, it is necessary reading for anyone interested in studying friendships.” – The Journal of Men's Studies “Overall, this book demonstrates the vitality of research and theory on men's friendships. Men's Friendships is not only an important contribution to men's studies, it is necessary reading for anyone interested in studying relationships.” – Personal Relationships Issues “The anthology … provides an excellent overview of the permutations of men's friendships. It is both tightly organized and wide ranging, a particularly difficult accomplishment for a collection…. Men's Friendships is one of the most interesting additions to the growing friendship literature. It significantly opens up the debate over gender differences in friendship–both within and between genders.” – Masculinities
Chapter 2: Rejection, Vulnerability, and Friendship
Rejection, Vulnerability, and Friendship
The Need for Friends
Within a liberal moral culture, acknowledging our need for friends can be difficult. As men we grow up learning to be independent and self-sufficient. Friendship grows out of shared interests and otherwise is often marginal to our identity. The meaning of our lives is given by the ends and goals that we have set for ourselves through reason. This means that we learn to do without others. We learn to do without friends. We learn to identify ourselves with the work that we do within the public realm. Much of our sense of ourselves is drawn from our achievements within this public realm of work, and we use this to help us deal with our feelings ...