Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Students, Friendship, School, Friends, Time, Literature, High School

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/02

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Article Summary

In the chapter “The Waltz Sociability: Intimacy, Dislocation, and Friendship in a Quebec High School”, the author investigates the effects of the short-term relationships at a critical period of life-adolescence and its effect. The author particularly observes and investigates the phenomena of friendships in the Western culture, its implications of the issues of intimacy, and the reasons for short term friendships.
Before trying to analyze the topic further, the author gives a short retrospective of the understanding of friendship through the eyes of other sociologists and psychologists. As cited by the author, Pane sees the friendship as a “sociological luxury” (Amit-Talai 235). On the other hand, Dorothy Jerrome sees friendship as a voluntary action that is exclusive to Western cultures. The author, Amit-Talai observed a group of female teenagers from a high school Royal Haven and their interaction. Based on the previous studies that were conducted among teenagers in industrial society, the lack of time for social interactions outside of school and work has been noticed. The reason for this lies in the fact that many high school students, apart from school need to work. Others, that do not work, spend so much time at school and when not in school, they need to do school works that take much of their time, leaving them with no time for social interaction with their peers. Furthermore, Amit-Talai states that 1978 survey, of 1295 English high school students, 59 per cent had part time jobs (Amit-Talai 237). Their life has been institutionalized by the school activities and the fulfillment of their free time with part-time jobs. The places where students could interact with each other and form a kind of friendships included school cafeteria, library and a couple of minutes of their free time in the washing rooms. However, even these activities were supervised by the school authorities and during classes the school was locked for others. At home, the parents were constantly worried about the evening nights out and teenagers were also under supervisions by their parents. How were they supposed to meet someone if their every minute is controlled and supervised?
Regardless of this institutional constrains they managed to become friends among themselves. However, it is difficult to make a friend if the system functions in a way where one is constantly among different peers at various courses and keeps shifting from one place to another. “Displacement from the grade cohort could be an uncomfortable and unsettlement experience” (Amit-Talai 239). The type of friendship where one invites a friend home is extremely rare. It seems that friendship is not mixed with family, and after school and part-time job there is a little room for a friendly walk. Being under constant supervision, the life of a student leaves no room for informal interactions. When Miss Devlin divided the class into two groups, leaving the “good” group without supervision, in an informal interaction, the majority of friendships such as the friendship between Melanie and Georgia occurred (Amit-Talai 242). The ability to speak freely in an informal situation opens new space for exchange of private information between peers and this is when they become friends.
The issue of intimacy among friends is also important. They are aware that by revealing too much personal information may have a boomerang effect on them and they risk of being publicly mocked. Therefore, the author argues that boundaries between social roles and zones are not clearly visible. The author also emphasized the importance of time that they spend together. Even though many of them have friends from the school that they previously went to, they spend less and less time with the old friends, because the new friends have repressed the old ones. In the case of Melanie and Georgina, even though they have old friends, the most of their day at school they spend together and it is obvious that they will neglect their old friends for whom they do not have time. Additionally, if one from a group of four friends chooses to act differently than their everyday routine, she endangers to be openly criticized by the others from her group such as the case of Isabelle. Others who did not manage to make friends in new school, such as Gina and who were extravert, could not cope with new surroundings. Even thought Gina openly spoke about her emotional troubles, Melanie and Georgia felt it was too much emotional reaction from Gina and did not feel any kind of empathy. Others such as Mike recognized the importance of being careful of what can be said, and how much of personal emotions should be revealed. Mike recognized the necessity of ““Drawing the line between safe and risky disclosures” (Amit-Talai 246). This protects adolescents from being openly ridiculed or insulted by their peers.
Finally, the question of dislocation is equally important for understanding the friendships among teenagers. There are many reasons for disjunction. Many students from Mount school left that school because their program has changed and they had to start all over again, others moved with their families and this involved the problem of meeting new friends and adapting to the new environment. “Royal Haveners did not add friends so much as change friends in response to institutional restructuring” (Amit-Talai 247).

Amit-Talai, Vered. "The Waltz of Sociability: Intimacy, Dislocation, and Friendship in a Quebec High School". Print

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Good Essay About Cited Work:. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-cited-work/. Published Nov 02, 2020. Accessed July 26, 2021.
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