Meanings for Closeness and Intimacy in Friendship [SagePub]
Abstract: Closeness and intimacy are fundamental, but poorly defined, concepts in the study of personal relationships. We sought to contribute to a more precise understanding of closeness and intimacy by first examining participants’ meanings for closeness in friendships, and then by comparing meanings for closeness with participants’ meanings for intimacy. In a self-report survey 270 college students were asked what made their same-sex and cross-sex friendships close and how close-ness was expressed. Thirteen different meanings for close-ness were derived. Individuals assigned an average of three meanings for closeness, with the most common being self-disclosure, support, shared interests and explicit expression of the value of the relationship. Native meanings for closeness differed relatively little across sexes and relational types. Respondents envisioned three possible relationships between closeness and intimacy. Just under half the respondents appeared to view them as equivalent terms, while the remaining respondents emphasized either qualitative or quantitative differences. The chief qualitative difference was that intimacy implied a romantic or sexual dimension to about one quarter of the respondents. Quantitative differences generally took the form of believing that an intimate relationship was a more intense form of a close relationship. Closeness appeared to be a richer, more inclusive term than intimacy. Respondents generated more meanings for it and thought of a greater variety of relationships as close. There were fewer sex differences in meanings for closeness than in meanings for intimacy.
What Asexuality Contributes to the Same-Sex Marriage Discussion [Taylor&Francis]
Abstract: While same-sex marriage debates have captured public attention, it is but one component of a broader discussion regarding the role of marriage in a changing society. To inform this discussion, I draw on qualitative, Internet survey data from 102 self-identified asexual individuals. I find that asexual relationships are complicated and nuanced in ways that have implications for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) political agenda, including same-sex marriage recognition. In addition, findings indicate that assumptions of sex and sexuality in relationships are problematic and that present language for describing relationships is limiting. Findings suggest a social justice agenda for marginalized sexualities should be broader in scope than same-sex marriage.
Interpersonal rituals in marriage and adult friendship [Taylor&Francis]
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine inductively types of interpersonal rituals in marriages and adult friendship and assess ritual enactment among friendship types (males’ and females’ same‐sex, cross‐sex, and couple friendships). Twenty married couples were interviewed, and 79 couples completed open‐ended questionnaires about both their marriage and friendship rituals. From their reports, a typology of seven marriage ritual types (two with subcategories including seven total subtypes) and a typology of six friendship ritual types (two with subcategories including seven total subtypes) were developed. The typology of marriage rituals with subtypes in parentheses include: Couple‐ Time Rituals (Enjoyable Activities, Togetherness Rituals, Escape Episodes), Idiosyncratic/Symbolic Rituals (Favorites, Private Codes, Play Rituals, and Celebration Rituals), Daily Routines and Tasks, Intimacy Expressions, Communication Rituals, Patterns/Habits/Mannerisms, and Spiritual Rituals. The typology of friendship rituals with subtypes in parentheses include: Social/Fellowship Rituals (Enjoyable Activities, Getting Together Rituals, Established Events, Escape Episodes), Idiosyncratic/Symbolic Rituals (Celebration Rituals, Play Rituals, Favorites), Communication Rituals, Share/Support/Vent Rituals, Tasks/Favors, and Patterns/Habits/Mannerisms. Analyses further suggest that certain types of ritual enactment occur more frequently in certain types of friendship.
The function of mundane ritualizing in adult friendship and marriage [Taylor&Francis]
Abstract: Rituals serve important functions in both friendships and married relationships. This study served, to investigate the categorical structures of rituals in both of these relationship types. In married relationships, seven categories of ritual functions emerged including: Relational Masonry, Relational Maintenance, Life Management, Fun/Enjoyment, Togetherness, Talk‐Time, and Anti‐Ritual. In friendships, seven categories of ritual functions also emerged including: Personal & Relational Stimulation, Personal Improvement, Relational‐Affirmation, Support, Self‐Affirmation, Escape, and Anti‐Ritual.