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ERIC Number: EJ777872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
Friends, Peers and Higher Education
Brooks, Rachel
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v28 n6 p693-707 Nov 2007
Theorists of friendship in contemporary society have suggested that our relationships with peers are characterised by their emphasis on openness, disclosure and emotional communication. Moreover, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim argue that friendship, as a deliberately sought, trusting partnership between two people, can play an important role in countering some of the negative consequences of a market-driven society, "acting as a shared lifeline to take the weight of each other's confusions and weaknesses". However, drawing on a series of in-depth interviews with students from nine different higher education institutions, this paper will argue that such theorists overlook significant complexity in the ways in which young adults choose to "order" their friendships. Indeed, it will suggest that highly individualised and ruthlessly competitive approaches to academic study can be maintained alongside more socially cooperative relationships with friends and peers, played out in non-academic arenas. The paper will discuss the implications of this for both sociological theorising about friendship, and policy and practice within the higher education sector. (Contains 2 notes.) [The research on which this paper is based was funded by the Society for Research in Higher Education.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom