Write 4-5 pages of original prose using division / classification writing techniques to discuss a topic of your choice. Do not number your categories. Instead, use clear transition sentences to signal a change. Your introduction or thesis is likely to include the reason why this type of sorting is helpful or relevant. What should the audience learn or understand after reading? Remember that coherent division / classification uses lots of examples: general and specific, abstract and concrete examples. Use the present tense and the pronoun “I” (not “you”) in your writing. When revising, include some figurative language to further enhance reader comprehension.

Roles of Friendship in Social Entities and Society

Friendship is a relationship that is characterized by mutual affection usually between two people, or more. It is far deeper and more personal than just mere association or companionship. As this involves person-to-person interactions and sharing of feelings and characteristics such as trust, compassion, sympathy, honesty, understanding, and empathy, it has been studied academically in different fields such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy (Greco, Holmes and Mackenzie 19). Friendships also result to significant ramifications on personal development, against sociological background, because as we, human beings, are social species, our interactions define our culture, ideologies, and unique personalities. In fact, as early as toddler age, people become relevantly dependent on friendship in social cognition and adjustment, wherein they learn new experiences and acquiring skills in response to interacting with different members of their peers. This establishes the social competence which will be useful through a person’s lifetime (Vaughn, Azria, Krzysik, Caya, Bost, and Newell 327). There are different roles in society and social norms where friendship is a key player, but the most researched about, and ones which transcend all phases of human life (childhood to adulthood) are morality, self-conception, perception (self and person-to-person), social competence, cognitive and emotional development, and societal stability.

Friendships have a direct correlation to morality, particularly on two specific issues: issue of partiality, fairness and consideration towards others (Bukowski, Newcomb and Hartup 255-56); and issue of responsibility for others. Our decisions on how to behave or react towards the action of our peers is reliant on the degree of our acquaintanceship with them. For instance, when we were kids, if somebody took our toy, our reaction towards the person and our behavior towards the whole event are more or less dictated by our relationship with the person. We usually do not mind if we are close friends with the person. Otherwise, we will be greatly offended by that action. Another issue, which is responsibility for others, is established by trust, loyalty, and commitment. For example, if we find ourselves in a pinch with our closest friends, and a name must be squealed among the group, our loyalty commands us to not condemn one of our friends to punishment, and to just suffer the consequences as group.

With regards to self-conception, people find and accept a deeper sense of self-identity with friendships. “Birds of the same feather flock together” and “Opposites attract” will not come to be if they do not happen in real life. As social species, we look for friends and partners who either as opposites will complete us, or as similar buddies will further let us grow and improve. Harry Stack Sullivan clearly defined the link between friendships and self-conception by using maltreated children as test subjects. The deformed self-identity of maltreated subjects is modified by positive interactions and friendships, and such conclusion is further cemented by the results of studies showing that self-esteem and sense of self are not shaped by parent-children interactions alone, but significantly more so, by peer relationships that begin from childhood to adolescence (274) to adulthood. As we begin to have closer and deeper friendship with peers during pre-adolescent stage due to similarities and differences, we begin to see more of our self-worth.

Hiatt found in his study involving dyads that high quality friendships involve highest level of behaviour perception. The said study emphasizes the incorporation of perception of one another between two friends as crucial to the stability of high quality friendships (77). We become more perceptive not only of ourselves but more importantly, of other people and the surroundings, through interaction. We learn to internally analyze and evaluate another’s attitude, behaviour, emotions and thinking, and come up with a decision if we like to cooperate with the person or not, and if we are looking on a long-term amiable interaction with the said person.

The ability to make friendships, and much more keep them, builds the social competence that assists people in conversing, cooperating, and basically in any matter of interaction with others. Shin, Kim, Goetz and Vaughn reported that children are happier, more interactive and extrovert, and less likely to keep to themselves, if they have friends (178). These qualities promote the positive growth of kids (179). Social competence, in fact, is what makes people get to success. For instance, while skills are indispensable tools to company performance, it is the attitude and good cooperative/working relationship with colleagues that is sought by managers.

Emotional development and cognition progress vis-à-vis among friendships due to the required investment of the self between two people, i.e. time, resources, concern (Almaatouq 2), emotions, and wisdom. The affirmation of one’s self and individuality, and its eventual shaping as a result of interdependence, further boosts emotional and cognitive aspect of personal development. Regulation of emotional expressions, and use of such in conflict management, are triggered and developed through friendships (Bukowski, Newcomb and Hartup 299).

The significance of friendships in society is established by studies that refer to friendships as a crucial component to societal stability. This correlation is defined by different events with which they play an important role, such as emotional support/security, interactions outside of family, and sense of justice, fairness and morality. Friends are commonly sought during critical events such as death in a family or close circle of friends, loss of job, breakup, etc. Friends “represent a precious social and emotional capital”, that offer ad provide network, “emotional support, information, trust, financial support, and influence” (Demır and Weitekamp 186). In breakups, friends usually act as facilitators in reconciliation of partners or parents who are in the brink of breakup or divorce, especially if they all belong to the same circle of friends. Each partner has friends who influence his/her decisions regarding family or couple problems, more often than not due to more accurate instinct in terms of prediction of relational stability (Dailey, Brody and Knapp 368 – 369). In fact, we are likely to be more in contact with friends in matters or problems of the heart than with our family.

According to Bukowski, Newcomb and Hartup, friendships provide ongoing opportunities “to develop intense [extrafamilial relations, or outside of family, which are] valuable precursors to future social relations” (299). The correlation of friendship to virtues of morality, justice, and fairness; and positive emotions such as faithfulness/loyalty and gratitude, provides the strong foundation on which a moral and sustainable society stands. German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel specified two main emotions, faithfulness and gratitude, as essential elements of societal stability due to their capability to build strong ties among people and establish and maintain continuity in institutions (Greco, Holmes and Mackenzie 25). Morality and fairness are also some of the very important virtues that keep the society solid and strong, because such principles uphold and respect the rights of people, and maintain peace and order by following all rules of law – by God and Men. Damon stated that sense of justice associated with friendships is strongly welded among preschool children than older-aged children whose concepts of these attributes have been differentiated (Bukowski, Newcomb and Hartup 256)