Kyoto Bunkyo University Department of Clinical Psychology Faculty of Clinical Psychology
- 臨床心理学部研究報告 = Reports from the Faculty of Clinical Psychology, Kyoto Bunkyo University (ISSN:18843751)
- vol.1, pp.99-108, 2009-03-31
The purpose of this paper is to discuss close friendship from social, cultural, and psychological viewpoints. The definition of friend is made by Brain R (1976) as follows: person who is connected by means of affection or dearness, not by blood relation or Eros. In order to consider the meaning of close friendship, we referred to the research of comparative anthropology of Brain. Through his study, we could see how close friendship worked in some culture and society, especially in some tribes in Africa where friendship played very important role. Historically, friendship was formed as a social system in the Middle Ages in Europe. Moreover, trust and affection between friends are emphasized in almost all culture. Thus, friendship is regarded as a fundamental aspect of human nature. Friendship is a relationship which has equality and complement nature, and it has played the role of exchange in some social systems. Also, some societies regard friendship as important as kinship, because it proceeds economical and social negotiation outside the kinship system. Several examples are shown in this paper. In order to see friendship from a psychological point of view, the image of twins was proposed in connection with close friendship. In some society, a close friend is recognized as a substitute for twin, which represents half of one's soul. The image of twin-ship represents "a pair of souls", or "the other self." Brain says that the fundamental aspect of friendship is equality, the form of a pair in soul, and "the other self." So he thinks the image of twins is connected with friendship. Finally, we discussed gender difference in close friendship, and close friendship between the sexes. Men and women can form close friendship with each other. Equality, or the basic nature of friendship, enables men and women to communicate with each other apart from their sexual drives.