By David Morgan
The excellence among acquaintances and associates is frequently made in daily dialog however the value of this contrast is under-explored. This e-book argues that acquaintanceship is a subject useful of research in its personal correct and assesses the general importance of pals in overdue sleek society. entrance hide; Halftitle web page; identify web page; Copyright web page; Contents; sequence editors' preface; Acknowledgements; 1 finding buddies; 2 pals in area: neighbours; three 'Mates usually are not friends': acquaintanceship and offices; four kin among execs and consumers; five Passing buddies: overlapping timetables; 6 Fleeting friends in time and area; 7 far-off and undesirable encounters; eight end; precis; References; identify Index; topic Index; again hide
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Extra resources for Acquaintances: The Space Between Intimates and Strangers (Sociology and Social Change)
On the one hand (especially where home and work overlap to a large extent) work may provide close and often enduring friendships. On the other, the workplace might be the basis for looser, more casual sets of relationships. The significance of such relationships might be assessed in terms of their contribution (negative or positive) to the functioning of the wider working organization but there was less assessment of their significance for the workers themselves unless they constituted friendships that persisted beyond the factory walls.
But it also includes what I see as being part of a sense of neighbourhood, the shared spaces or references points which, even where they may not be used (a pub or a church, for example) still remain as physical reminders of where one lives. I have recently argued that one way of understanding community is in terms of a ‘nexus of stories’ (Morgan 2005; 2008). It is through overlapping stories that we build up a sense of where we are and where we belong. When I wrote this, I was thinking of actual stories, verbal accounts exchanged between acquaintances or intimates and about other acquaintances or intimates.
But a theme which emerges with some consistency in British and American studies at least, is the idea of some kind of balance between distance and closeness. We have seen, in the accounts of the process of becoming a neighbour, that learning this balance requires considerable social skills and is often easy to get wrong. Later in this chapter I shall discuss what might be called ‘the ethics of neighbouring’; here I shall outline the main ideas. Zweig, in his account of British working-class life summarized these values with the phrase ‘friendly but not too close’ (Zweig 1961: 116).