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Diverse Friendships: The Overall Impact of Social Boundaries on Friendships

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Abstract:

Based on an analysis of 120 intensive interviews focusing on 40 different friendships crossing the lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ability, it was apparent that the assessment of the overall impact of the social boundaries by respondents all fell within one of eight types of impact: no impact, providing a source of bonding, being an eye-opening experience, causing some initial hesitation, encouraging them to be mindful of the difference, eliciting a sense of respect, being a source of some discomfort, and making the friends less understanding of each other. Some types of impact were more common than others. In addition, there were variations in the distribution of social boundaries within each type of overall impact as well as corresponding variations in the distribution of types of overall impact within each social boundary. Within a single friendship, each friend could have a very different view of the impact of the social boundary on the friendship, although there was no consistent or recognizable pattern in these variations.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

differ (83), friendship (78), friend (71), impact (67), social (53), boundari (50), like (46), think (40), interview (39), orient (35), thing (33), sexual (33), know (32), overal (32), gender (31), indic (29), one (28), race (27), class (26), fact (26), realli (25),

Author's Keywords:

friendship, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, intimate relationships
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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MLA Citation:

Vela-McConnell, James. "Diverse Friendships: The Overall Impact of Social Boundaries on Friendships" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, Jul 31, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p238634_index.html>

APA Citation:

Vela-McConnell, J. A. , 2008-07-31 "Diverse Friendships: The Overall Impact of Social Boundaries on Friendships" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p238634_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Based on an analysis of 120 intensive interviews focusing on 40 different friendships crossing the lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ability, it was apparent that the assessment of the overall impact of the social boundaries by respondents all fell within one of eight types of impact: no impact, providing a source of bonding, being an eye-opening experience, causing some initial hesitation, encouraging them to be mindful of the difference, eliciting a sense of respect, being a source of some discomfort, and making the friends less understanding of each other. Some types of impact were more common than others. In addition, there were variations in the distribution of social boundaries within each type of overall impact as well as corresponding variations in the distribution of types of overall impact within each social boundary. Within a single friendship, each friend could have a very different view of the impact of the social boundary on the friendship, although there was no consistent or recognizable pattern in these variations.

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Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 20
Word count: 7542
Text sample:
James A. Vela-McConnell Ph.D. Augsburg College velamcco@augsburg.edu DIVERSE FRIENDSHIPS: The Overall Impact of Social Boundaries on Friendships Not surprisingly those interviewed for this research project (see the supporting documentation on methodology) had widely varied and specific things to say about how the social boundaries of race gender sexual orientation class religion age and ability played themselves out in the context of their friendships. Among the many varied responses however the assessment of the overall impact of the social boundaries
we have more to learn from these friendships. Overall while there were common types of overall impact of social boundaries on friendships as assessed by the friends themselves it is apparent that the distribution of the different types of impact varied for each social boundary. This makes it possible to compare the impact of race gender sexual orientation class religion age and—to a lesser extent—ability on the friendships. Such a comparison indicates that there are some areas of diversity—like


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