Monday, May 12, 2014

Sociology of Friendship: A Writing Assignment

I've been thinking about friendship since I opened a fortune cookie a few days ago.

So I wrote these questions to encourage a reflection about friendship.

1. How do you define "friend"? When you hear "friend," what words come to mind?

2. Describe the characteristics of your closest friends.

3. What are 2-3 qualities you most value in a friend?

4. What do you think you offer to others as a friend?

5. Is there a time in your life when you've been let down by a friend? How about a time you've disappointed a friend? Explain the situation(s) and whether you learned something from what happened.

6. Do you think it's important to form friendships with people of another gender? Explain your answer.

7. Click here to read a blog post by Lisa Wade about male friendship. She writes: "Men are more likely to get together and do stuff: they watch football together, go out and play pool, have poker nights, etc. Women are more likely to spend time just talking, confessing, disclosing, and being supportive of each other’s feelings." Based on your experiences, has this been true? Discuss. Also, watch the Guinness commercial that is included in the blog post. After reading Wade's analysis of the commercial, respond with your own thoughts about the commercial.

8. Click here to read the article "The Politics of Being Friends with White People" by Brittany Cooper. Mention some points that stand out from the article. Cooper writes: "Maintaining integrated friendships past a certain age is more struggle than triumph." She says "interracial friendships, especially in adulthood, require a level of risk and vulnerability that many of us would rather simply not deal with." Write a response to her point of view.

9. How do you think your friends see you? To help answer this question, think of how they might fill in the blank to a sentence about you with three difference answers (pretend for a moment your name is Tanya).
Tanya is _____________________________________.

10. To conclude this assignment, think about the friends that have been important to you throughout your life. What are some insights about yourself that you can write about based on the important friendships you have made? In other words, what do the important friends in your life tell you about you?

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