Friendship in Latin American Social Comparative Studies

Agnaldo Garcia, Julia Sursis Nobre Ferro Bucher-Maluschke, Daniela Marisol Pérez-Angarita, Fábio Nogueira Pereira


Friendship has been traditionally investigated in the field of interpersonal relationships using different theoretical frameworks and approaches. This paper discusses the possibility of investigating friendship from a comparative Latin American perspective, based on a wide literature review on the subject. Based on the theoretical proposals of Hinde (1997) for the investigation of interpersonal relationships, the paper considers that friendship involves several levels of complexity and affects and is affected by distinct dimensions of Latin American society. The paper recognizes that comparative studies have placed the importance of friends and friendship in areas such as economy, health, education, and migration, among others. As expected, Latin American comparative studies are more frequent in some disciplines, mainly those based on censuses data, and theoretically related to social-economic and demographic concepts, including social networks and social capital. The possibility of developing a Latin American perspective for the study of friendship requires not only the need of empirical but also theoretical advances, as well as scientific cooperation and innovation. Friendship is seen as relevant for the constitution of the social tissue of Latin American society, being affected and affecting different areas and levels. In the social economic dimension, friends are relevant, specifically in Latin America, to themes such as poverty and social vulnerability. Some future possibilities for investigation are discussed.


friendship; comparative studies; Latin America

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