Prompt Option 1:
Much of the research on the gender of friendships is contradictory. Try testing our some of the findings discussed in the textbook and article we read this week by conducting your own informal survey or interviews on gender and friendship. When deciding the questions you should ask your respondents, keep in mind Walker’s (1994) findings about the differences between global questions about friendship and questions about behaviors within one specific friendship (found on pgs. 204-206 of our text). Then, in your reflection paper, discuss the following:
Discuss your research process. What aspect of gender and friendship did you study? What questions did you ask your respondents?
Summarize what you discovered about gender and friendship.
- How do your findings compare to what the text or article for this week suggested about gender and friendship? Why might they differ?
Prompt Option 2:
- The social network theory of gender places importance on the different sizes of social networks among men and women in childhood and continuing into adulthood. You may want to review this theory (pgs. 41-45) and how it relates to friendships (pgs. 200-201) before you begin. Think about your own network of friends when you were a child compared to now, as well as the networks of your opposite gender peers. In your reflection paper, discuss the following:
What was your friendship network like as a child? Include details about the size, density, and diversity of your network as well as how similar/different your friends were to you (gender, age, race, religion, etc.).
How did your friendship network as a child compare to your opposite-gender peers?
How does your friendship network now compare to your own as a child? How does it compare to your opposite-gender peers?
- Reflect on the idea that “like likes like” or, as social network theory would say, “similar nodes are more likely to have a relationship than dissimilar nodes”.