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Friendship – a contribution to the private turn in social geography Freundschaft – ein Beitrag zum private turn in der Sozialgeographie

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Related to the private turn, social geography is shifting its attention towards research topics that focus on aspects of privacy and intimacy. The idea of friendship gains significant meaning in this context. Friendship is a specific kind of social relation that rests on voluntariness and subsists without any normative basis. In contemporary, individualised society, friendship bonds often substitute different kinds of social relationships, which are based upon normative relations, like kinship relations. The paper analyses the practical potential of the semantics of friendship for social geography following the private turn from two perspectives. First, the paper discusses the relevant social-scientific and human-geographic literature that deals with friendship. Second, these theoretical considerations are amplified with empirical results that verify the relevance of the concept for social geographic work on issues of privacy and intimacy. The empirical results reveal that friendship has a significant impact on prejudice and mobility, is connected with both education and domicile, and assumes complex social responsibilities exclusively concerning specific social groups.

Die Sozialgeographie wendet sich im Zuge des private turn verstärkt Forschungsthemen zu, die Aspekte von Privatheit und Vertrautheit ins Zentrum stellen. Bedeutsam wird in diesem Zusammenhang der Begriff der Freundschaft. Freundschaft ist eine spezifische Form der Verbindung von Menschen, die auf Freiwilligkeit beruht und ohne normative Basis auskommt. In der individualisierten Gegenwartsgesellschaft ersetzen freundschaftliche Beziehungen vielfach Vergesellschaftungsformen, die, wie beispielsweise Verwandtschaftsbeziehungen, auf normativen Bindungen aufbauen. Der Beitrag analysiert das forschungspragmatische Potenzial der Freundschaft für die Sozialgeographie im Anschluss an den private turn zunächst anhand einer Auseinandersetzung mit der vorliegenden sozialwissenschaftlichen und humangeographischen Literatur zum Thema. Im Anschluss stellt er den so erarbeiteten theoretischen Erkenntnissen empirische Ergebnisse zur Seite, die die Relevanz des Konzepts für sozialgeographische Arbeiten im Feld von Privatheit und Vertrautheit belegen. Die empirischen Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Freundschaft unter anderem auf Vorurteile und Mobilität wirkt, mit Bildung und dem Wohnort zusammenhängt und bei bestimmten Sozialgruppen komplexe Verantwortlichkeiten ausschließlich trägt.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Since its beginning in 1895, the Geographische Zeitschrift has been one of the leading journals in its field. To this day, its mission is to be the voice of both theory-based empirical research and the theoretical and methodological debate in human geography. As an internationally respected professional journal, it is committed to the highest standards. The originality, high quality and topicality of its articles are guaranteed by international expert referees. By transcending traditional subject boundaries, the Geographische Zeitschrift makes a decisive contribution to the continuing evolution of human geography. It prints German- and English-language articles.
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