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The Compass of Friendship Narratives, Identities, and Dialogues by William K. Rawlins

The Compass of Friendship Narratives, Identities, and Dialogues


The Compass of Friendship Narratives, Identities, and Dialogues by William K. Rawlins

Friendship presents us with moments of significant choice in shaping our selves, other persons, relationships, and communities. But: What is the reach of friendship? How far can its practices extend in addressing significant similarities and differences arising between persons? How do close friends versus broader social involvements and participation serve well-being, identity formation, and life satisfaction? What happens to friendships in coursing across public and private circumstances? How might personal and civic friendships serve individual and community well-being? Just how useful and realistic are the ideals and activities of friendship for serving the well-lived life of individuals, groups, and larger collectivities?In Living Friendship, noted teacher, scholar, and writer Bill Rawlins explores these and other questions. Using a variety of examples and cases from literature, film, and everyday life, the book examines what conceptions of personal and civic friendship teach us about living responsibly with similarities and differences, and living in ways that facilitate both personal autonomy and social connection. Throughout the book the capacities of communicating in a spirit of friendship for co-creating and making choices with others are emphasized.


His research is solid, his writing is clear and accessible, and his insights into the human condition-and most specifically that dialogical-narrative and negotiated relationship we call friendship-are keen. His next word on friendship has been long awaited and much needed in the field of communication studies. -- Dr. Christopher N. Poulos Author William K. Rawlins uses compelling examples and cases from literature, films, dialogue and storytelling between actual friends, student discussions of cross-sex friendships, and interviews with interracial friends. -- Family Therapy [R]awlins's book provides a detailed and accessible explanation of friendship.[It] is intended for varying audiences, including students, professionals, social psychologists, and individuals curious about the nature of friendship. It is a good read, a textbook that will be useful to anyone seeking to know how to form friendships. -- Sherine Ramzy

About the Author

William K. Rawlins (Ph.D., Temple University) is Stocker Professor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. His book, Friendship Matters: Communication, Dialectics, and the Life Course, was selected as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1993 by the editors of Choice, and received the Gerald R. Miller Book Award in 1994 from the Interpersonal and Small Group Interaction Division of the National Communication Association. In 2002 he received The Theory That Has Left a Legacy Award: The Dialectical Perspective from the Communication Theory Interest Group of the Central States Communication Association. Over the past 25 years, Professor Rawlins has published extensively about the unique challenges and dialectical tensions of communicating in friendships. Bill teaches courses in communication in friendships across the life course, interpersonal and relational communication, communication theory, dialogue and experience, interpretive and ethnographic inquiry, communication and narrative, and Gregory Bateson and communication theory. While at Purdue University, he received the W. Charles Redding Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Communication five times, the School of Liberal Arts Departmental Educational Excellence Award for 2000-2001, and the School of Liberal Arts Educational Excellence Award for 2002-2003.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th October 2008


William K. Rawlins

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SAGE Publications Inc


248 pages


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