Intimacy in young women's friendships: symbols and rituals

Letchfield, Katie and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish ORCID logoORCID: (2018) Intimacy in young women's friendships: symbols and rituals. In: Sexuality, Sexual and Gender Identities and Intimacy Research in Social Work and Social Care: A Lifecourse Epistemology. Dunk-West, Priscilla and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish, eds. Routledge, London, pp. 49-68. ISBN 9781138225879. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9781315398785-4)

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The phenomenon of friendship and its function and purpose within social work and social care is significantly under-researched. This chapter outlines the function of symbols and ritual in relation to ideals of ‘friendships’ among young women. It draws principally from a small qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with five women aged 18–25 years during which they discussed their friendships. We discuss key themes from the data analysis and draw out the importance of intimacy in friendships for young women within this stage of the life course. The findings indicated that not only do rituals and symbols create and support internal intimacy, but also constituted practices informed by a cultural ideal of what it means to be a ‘friend’. The implications for how social work assessment and interventions takes these into account when working with young people and other service user groups is then explored.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 23293
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Depositing User: Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2018 15:13
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2022 09:25

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