My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship
Patterns of friendship
Patterns or types of friendship were described in the literature already millennia ago. (Aristotle, 350 BC) differentiated between three types of friendship; the friendship of goodness, the friendship of pleasure, and the friendship of utility. More recent theorists have made diverse distinctions of friendships, like “instrumental and emotional” (Wolf, 1966/2004) or “inalienable, close, casual and expedient” (Paine, 1970), depending on the functions they fulfill. The functions of friendships, social institutions and family seem at times to overlap. It actually may be hard to differentiate between functions associated with friendship and those associated with kinship, since this may differ between cultures (Krappmann, 1998).
Friendship is a dynamic process and its patterns are related to a variety of variables. To start with, friendships are influenced by situational variables. Thus, residential stability enhances local friendships (Sampson, 1988), and life transitions lead to a lower number of friends, less contact with friends, and a lower likelihood of having a best friend (Flynn, 2007). Also individual characteristics, gender and culture influence friendships. It was proposed that “the social structural and psychological aspects of individual characteristics operate together to shape behavioral motifs which, in turn, influence friendship patterns” and that “the elements of this integrative framework and the relationships among them vary by structural and cultural context” (Adams & Blieszner, 1994, p. 163).