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Bettina Beer & Don Gardner (Uni Luzern & Aust. Nat.Univ.)

Introduction The question of the nature of friendshipits basis and relevance to social processesis at the heart of its significance to anthropology as a comparative discipline. Yet, friendships connection to a host of other, conspicuously moral notions (virtue, intimacy, trust, loyalty, sincerity, honour, etc) has made a satisfactory answer to that question elusivefor many centuries. Accordingly, the anthropology of friendship remains a shadowy region of broader, sprawling landscape, and not only because of the bright light shone by anthropologists on the related, but also problematic concept of kinship. Much of this contribution will consist of pointers to areas that are uncertain or still require consideration. The term friendship is subject to an ambiguity that needs some preliminary attention: it can refer both to the relationship between persons (Their friendship is long-standing), or to the inclinations, dispositions and actions of a single person (She assured him of her friendship), in which case it is roughly synonymous with friendliness. Of course, these two senses are intimately connected (indeed, the sentiments denoted in the second usage are necessary to a characterisation of the first), but we focus on the relationship that obtains between friends. Friendly sentiments can be unreciprocated, but a friendship necessarily involves mutuality. In paradigm cases, we propose, friends enjoy one anothers goodwill, trust and affection; they share these things andcruciallyeach not only knows this, but also knows that the other does; the trust, affect, goodwill and knowledge are mutual and these motivate and thematise the interactions between the friends. These characteristics are clearly the sort of thing that do not come into being instantaneously, and go some way to making sense of the organic images and metaphors (growth, development, degrees of strength, withering, death and so on) used in relation to friendship. A faithful friendin the words of the Old Testament, but as affirmed in many different traditionsis a treasure or the medicine of life. Aristotle thought a fulfilled, flourishing human life impossible without friendship, even if all other

conditions of such a life had been satisfied (health, longevity, resources and pleasures). If friendships existential and psychological significance has always seemed clear in Western traditions, its relevance to the specifically social sciences has not been. One noted specialist has concluded that even the classification of friendships empirical characteristics has eluded social scientists (Pahl 2000:142), a consequence that has as much to do with views of analytical adequacy as the empirical complexity of the phenomena addressed. By contrast, Aristotle, in whose treatises on ethics much academic discussion of friendship still finds its source, dealt with friendship so extensively because of its articulation with fundamental features of the human soul, and because the student of politicsmust study the soul (1980:25). That Aristotle was interested in the proper order of a democratic state, reflexively defined by its self-conscious and politically engaged citizens, is connected to his ongoing relevance to the question of friendship: in his world of Maussian total social facts, Aristotle took it for granted, one might almost say, that conceptions of agency and societys structural order could not be set in opposition to one another in ways they later were. And while 19th and 20th century students of the social order found friendships conspicuously private, interpersonal qualities comparatively marginal to their explanatory aims and theoretical ambitions, more recent concerns with agency and historical process have made it less so. Moreover, issues in the sociology of intimate relations (Giddens 1992; Jamieson 1999, 2011) have raised sharp general questions about sociality in a cultural milieuof unprecedented global reachthat stresses consumption, choice, privacy, voluntary association and authenticity of affect. Connectedly, but expressed in different terms, interest in variations in social capital (as these affect individual well-being and community fortunes) and the social distribution of trust has also given friendship a somewhat higher profile among scholars of macro-social phenomena than it once had (Spencer & Pahl 2006; Sztompka 1999). If, though, friendships appeal to the social sciences has increased, it has retained its elusive quality. In particular, friendships obvious connections with the specificities of persons and the socio-psychological particularities of agents problematises several aspects of traditional social theory and the dichotomies that have been close to its centre. [THE POLITICAL-ETHICAL ENGAGEMENT OF ANY 2

OTHER ENTAILS A REFLEXIVE, RECURSIVE APPRECIATION OF THE FOOTING OF THAT OTHER; THIS IS AN ORIENTATION FIRST MASTERED IN RELATION TO THOSE WE ENGAGE IN THE FAMILY OF ORIGIN AND OTHER CONTEXTS DOMINATED BY PHILIA.] Friendship as a relationship Etymology helps make the roots of some of these difficulties clearer: friend and its cognates in other northern European languages derive from an old Germanic verb meaning to love, and is still used to designate kin rather than friends in some of those languages. For languages like English, which differentiate friendship from kin relationships, it is worth remembering that there is no semantic impediment to a relative being a mortal enemy (royal and chiefly houses are not alone in exemplifying this obvious fact) just as there is none to a relative also being a close and dear friend. Likewise, ones jailer or bank manager may also be counted among ones friends. By contrast, among people such as the Korowai of New Guinea, for whom social connections are kinship connections, such that egos kindred is largely co-extensive with that persons social universe, the kinds of intimates English speakers would call friends result from the contingencies of how people involve themselves with one another (Stasch 2009: 106-7). This and similar considerations suggest that despite the empirical convergence of friendship and kin relations in some settings, and the sociological significance of this, each is irrelevant to the constitution of the other, qua relationship. In particular, kinship is neither necessary nor sufficient for friendly relations. (This point assumes a significance, often rather muted, in theoretical concerns about the characterisation of social relations.) Aristotle, whose account of friendship continues to background many discussions of the topic, held love (affection, intimacy and trustphilia rather than eros or agape) to be necessary to true friendship (and he devoted twenty percent of the Nichomachean Ethics to its analysis); as a form of non-erotic love, friendship wasusuallymost conspicuous in relations between close kin and in the most complete relationships between non-kin. Seeking to explicate friendships place in human flourishing, Aristotle grounds it in love because the relationship outruns its behavioural manifestations. It is not what friends do for one another that makes them friends, but why; friends act for the sake of the other.

But if love (philia) is necessary for friendship, it seems it cannot be sufficient. Mutuality of positive affect and a reciprocal commitment to the others welfare and interests seem to be part of the very notion friendship; someone who does not reciprocate my friendly acts and feelings is not my friend. Yet, unreciprocated love is not unusual. (Even the most attentive benefactor acts as a friend to, without being a friend of, the person upon whom the beneficences are bestowed.) For Aristotle, even lesser friendships, those conditional on the gain or pleasure of the parties to it, involves mutuality and a concern on the part of each to promote the well-being of the friend for the friends sake: if the gain or pleasure is not mutual, or one or both offer it for reasons other than the sake of the other, then the relationship is something other than that of friendship. Finally, knowledge of the grounds of the motivations and actions of the friends must also be mutual and relevant to their responses to one another: that friends care for each other must be common knowledge between them and constitute grounds for many actions of each; only thus can the friendship be relevant to the projects and plans of the friends. Friends are those whose affections we know of and can (ceteris paribus) count on. The recursive nature of concerns that friends have for each other, on Aristotles account, underpins his readiness to speak of a complete friend as different self (1998:39), a person whose well-being is not only a matter of concern to oneself, but is also an aspect of ones own self (Whiting 2006; Pakaluk 2005, 2009). The relationship between friendship and the self in Aristotle, in the context of his views on pleasure and loving oneself as dimensions of a virtuous and complete human life, leads some scholars to see his as an account of friendship as a strategy of rational egoism: finally, they interpret Aristotle to say, even perfect friendships are primarily of instrumental value to the persons involved. Other scholars dispute this reading on a number of grounds (Cooper 1975; Whiting 2006; Kraut 2010). Complications abound, but an anthropologist committed to an ethnographic perspective will stress the difference between Aristotles world of city-states and gods, with its total social phenomena, and that of contemporary defenders of one or the other variety of egoism. It seems clear, for example, that altruism, egoism and the relation between them will be affected by the degree to which the gods are held to be relevant to outcomes and/or to the future generally. In which case, there may be no determinate answer to where Aristotle might stand on questions raised in a different

epoch and social context. Yet, it is also possible to read Aristotle as refusing the dichotomies that are at work in later considerations of these matters: Aristotles vision of a virtuous self is egoistic, but the ego he posits is one that is constituted by the relations that give it its essence. (For an anthropological audience, one might say that Aristotle was the first author to note that the individual is, or is also, a dividual.) Common sense (and a scholar like Hruschka, for that matter) might also suggest that there could be no reasonable answer to a sceptical question whether a woman had really suffered as a result of a dreadful accident to her beloved child or her best friend, for the question itself is premised on a mistake about the kinds of creatures we are. The connection between friendship and concepts like love, trust and intimacy (as well as companionate marriage, affective individualism and the like), in conjunction with their association with modernity and transformations of famililes, mean that ours is a hot topic, widely discussed beyond the boundaries of anthropology, especially in sociology (Scott et al 2004; Spencer & Pahl 2006; Allan 2008; May 2011) and philosophy (Helm 2009, 2010) Friendship and anthropology Many discussions of this relationship begin by pointing out that friendship has not loomed large within anthropology, either ethnographically or theoretically. In a discipline that grew to maturity through its engagement with the different ways in which kin relations permeated, organised or regulated social structures, friendship has been easy to overlook, even if its universal presence and general significance has been acknowledged (Firth 1999) and occasionally proclaimed (Brain 1976). More recently anthropologists (and sociologists) have grown more interested in friendship; but by the time its claims to anthropological attention became less tentative, the emphasis on personhood and its cultural construction that had come to dominate postSchneiderian kinship theory ensured that friendship once again had to accommodate itself to conceptions already forged. Accordingly, Colemans view that classical anthropological studies of friendship are few and far between (2010:197) is apt. Yet, it is a distortion to paint a general picture of neglect: scholars of peasant communities, proletarian urban networks and other politically encompassed social settings made sure that friendship and other informal, private social relationships

were given analytic space (Whyte 1943; Pitt-Rivers 1954; Bott 1957; Young & Willmot 1957; Wolf 1966; Mitchell 1969; Paine 1969; Firth et al 1970; Boissevain 1974). Moreover, for much of their history, anthropology and sociology shared sources of inspiration, research agendas and the range of theoretical orientations. Sociologists were used to the idea that in a given community kin and friendship networks were intimately connected (Allan 1979; Adams & Allan 1998). Accordingly, a background awareness that the significance of friendship (and other informal interpersonal relations) in social networks was an empirical variable in time and space was common among anthropologists too; indeed, it was sometimes stressed (by, for instance, those interested in transactionalism [Barth 1963; 1966]), and was sometimes integrated into a comparative analysis of interpersonal relations and their social settings (Eisenstadt 1956). Mostly, however, when friendship was considered in a comparative perspective, it was in its institutionalised, often ritualised, forms, or as it shaded into patron-client and comparable inegalitarian relations. This, of course, gives a clue to the theoretical commitments that marginalised informal friendships. So, while friendship was never ignored it was often considered by mainstream scholars to constitute a residual category, comprising phenomena seen as marginal or interstitial, especially with respect to kinship and descent and other institutional ordersthe structuring structures of social life. Friendship, it seems, was regarded as one of those areas where even the most muscular of sociologies could not convincingly proceed on the assumption that the invocation of rules or custom sufficed to account for behaviour. More recently, things have changed somewhat, even while the social significance of kinship and friendship has remained at issue. Volumes dedicated to friendship that have been published recently (Bell and Coleman 1999; Desai & Killick 2010; Hruschka 2010) and several theoretically motivated articles (for example, Killick 2009; Santos-Granero 2007; Fausto 2012) have sought to bring friendship to centre-stage (see also Descharmes et al 2011; Pahl 2000; Spencer & Pahl 2006). The context for these moves is complex: general theoretical changes associated with interest in practice and history were already underway when questions about the effects of globalisation on local patterns of sociality became an explicit research topic, but once they had, the role of friendship in many quite different cultural settings, and in different formulations, came into focus (Bell &

Coleman 1999:1). Interestingly, however, both kinship and friendship are nowadays apt to be seen as informal, face-to-face aspects of social life, distinguishable from the state and international institutions that shape the postmodern world, but which are nevertheless crucial to local political economies (see below). In some respects, then, increased interest in friendship and cognate analytical categories (intimacy, trust, social capital) has much to do with the ethnographic realities of contemporary life; yet theoretical interests in agency, practice and history, as well as broader postmodern and postcolonial currents within the social sciences, have also wrought their effects. These interests, sometimes in conjunction with, sometimes opposed to, the constructionist and performative orientations inspiring new kinship studies, have made it impossible to ignore the way traditional understandings of friendship and kinship, along with their relationship as analytical concepts, have been placed in question. It seems fair to say, on the evidence of recent work, that the questions raised are as much retrospective as prospective, with the familiar issue of the relative general significance of cross-cultural similarities/differences also apparent. Yet it is also striking that friendship, and the analytical terms in which it has recently been addressed, are still significantly shaped by the terms in which kinship is configured. Connectedly, friendship and gift exchange have been seen as implicating one another, in both institutionally defined forms (bond- and ritual friendships) and in the more general course of relationship maintenance and generation: If friends make gifts, gifts make friends (Sahlins 1968: 88). Indeed, we will suggest that under currently widespread anthropological models, in which relationships are viewed as performed in accord with local constructions of personhood, friendship commands analytical interest in proportion to its being unclear how it relates to kinship and to the practices predicated of interactions between folks related as kin. This trend finds clear expression in a recent exposition from Sahlins, which endorses Aristotle on the friend as another self, but as part of a wide-ranging case for seeing kin as persons who are members of one another, who participate intrinsically in each others existence (Sahlins 2011:2). This is not so remarkable, since Aristotle counted relations between close kin as exemplifying the love (philia) that characterised complete friendship. However, this entry will be much concerned, albeit sometimes

by implication, with the advisability of this move to elide the distinctions between kinds of relatedness: differences that are, prima facie, of existential no less than sociological importance. Recent objections to the annexation of friendship to the expanded notion of relatedness used in new kinship studies raise the problem explicitly, but it is not clear that the matters at issue only pertain to the empirical adequacy an abstract notion of relatedness and its local cultural construction. In fact, it is striking, in this context, just how subtle, yet significant, are the energy transfers resulting from the bumping together of ethical, conceptual, theoretical and empirical issues in a substantive field of inquiry. The constancy with which anthropological scholars have worried about the relationship between kinship and friendship is mirrored by, and connected to, sociologists concern with the connection between the interpersonal aspects of social networks and the broader institutional structures in which they are embedded in nation-states. These concerns share roots in the early social science problematic of the transformations of social life produced by the history of Western modernity, which continued to thematise much of twentieth century social theory, implicitly or explicitly. And under the effects of globalisation the difference between these concerns has become less clear. If kin and kin-like relations today underpin transnational diasporas that maintain and depend upon cultural continuities decisive to their existence, then friendships and friend-like relations also forge links between quite different communities thrown together by contemporary global flows. It is for this reason that recent work on friendship, in sociology as well as anthropology, has inevitably looked back to earlier theoretical issues at the same time as it confronted contemporary social realities. Actually, recent anthropology of friendship has come from two quite different directions: from evolutionary theory, most conspicuously in Hruschkas (2010) largescale comparative investigation of friendship (augmented by test data and a broad sampling of the ethnographic literature); and from a cultural anthropology that has been enlivened, to various degrees, by the advent of new kinship studies and the anthropology of personhood, as well as by the challenge of dealing analytically with the imbrication of local socio-cultural settings and global flows (Bell & Coleman 1999; Desai & Killick 2010). While these two strands of scholarship are inspired by very different background positions, there is much about friendship upon which they 8

agree: the ubiquity and variability of friendship; its significance in organising important socio-economic relationships in quite varied cultural contexts (as well as between them); that positive affect is a causally significant dimension of paradigm cases of friendship, even those that are organised with respect to explicit norms or are referrable to instrumental values; that many forms of friendship are governed by generalised reciprocity (sharing, or mutuality) rather than balanced reciprocity. These two directions also converge because issues concerning altruism, egoism and what is entailed in someones doing something for the sake of another, arise in evolutionary and social theory alike. Hruschkaperhaps to the surprise of those who continue to associate selectionist theory with sociobiologyconcludes his meticulous and systematic comparative study with an Aristotelian claim that friendship is best characterised in terms of mutual trust, goodwill and loyalty that derive not from egoistic calculation, or socially enforced rules of exchange, but from evolved dispositions to do so. Given our task, this entry must concern itself socio-cultural anthropologys reconfigured interest in friendship, but we would commend Hruschkas important work to those inclined to reflect on their disciplinary habitus, noting that even Marshall Sahlins cites approvingly investigations by Michael Tomasello and his team into the evolved basis of human cooperation (Sahlins 2011b:229-230). Friendship and kinship We can begin to flesh out some of our earlier claims about the connections in anthropology between friendship and kinship with a text that has been much referred to (not always fairly), even in the most recent anthropological discussions of friendship: Pitt-Rivers The kith and the kin (1973), written for The character of kinship, the festschrift for Meyer Fortes. Although this and related works from PittRivers have enjoyed some interest from younger scholars (see the papers in a recent special volume of JRAI [Matei and da Col 2012]), we consider the 1973 piece precisely because it engages Fortes on kinship and its fundamental character. Pitt-Rivers begins by remarking the oddness of Fortes having chosen amity, derived from the French term for friendship, to designate the axiom of prescriptive altruism, which Fortes claimed to be central to kinship. It seemed that Fortes had chosen to define the essence of kinship by appealing to the very concept of what it is

not (90). For, Pitt-Rivers continues, most scholars oppose kinship, as the inflexible, involuntary, immutable, established by birth and subject to the pressures of the political-jural domain[to] friendship,which is its contrary in each of these respects (90). Actually, however, Fortes suggests (1969:239fn) that the notion of amity corresponds closely Aristotelian conceptions of friendship (as interpreted by Aquinas) but was perhaps most vividly portrayed for him by two ethnographies (from Lawrence and Burridge) on peoples of the Madang area of New Guinea. There, the complexities of cognatic relations, siblingship, affinity, residential ties and, according to Burridge, friendship principles (so reminiscent, strangely enough of Aristotle as summarised by St Thomas [Fortes 1969:240]), act to produce, a fluidity of structure [that] posed the problem [from the point of view of the African model of descent] of how any sort of social continuity or cohesion could be maintained(Fortes 1984:ix). Fortes ends his quasi-Aristotelian discussion of Melanesian amity with a digression on Zande blood-brotherhood, followed by an extended quote from Young and Wilmot (1957) on how, for working class Londoners, a morally sanctioned affection makes the liability close kin have for one another unlimited (beyond the bounds of self-interest and rational calculation [quoted at 1969:242]), just as it does among the Tallensi and Ashanti. In closing his chapter on the axiom of amity, Fortes returns to Melanesia and cites Olivers (1955) characterisation of Siuai premises of kinship morality that cannot be bettered as a concise statement of his argument (249). This provides him with the impetus to declare the irreducibility of the domain of familial and kinship relations to the constitution of which prescriptive altruism is intrinsic (250-1). And while he is prepared to follow Montaigne in seeing these moral inclinations as an ultimate premise of human social existence (the biological and psychological foundations of which are sucked in with the mothers milk), he declines to pursue the implications of the entailed bifurcation between a primordial amity, which is not a function of a social rule, but of deep moral values, and one sustained by the prescriptions of the politico-jural domain; the actualities of kinship relations and behavior are compounded of elements derived from both domains (251). Much could be made of Fortess decision, which is completely consistent with sociological traditions traceable to Durkheim, to stop pursuing his inquiry at this 10

point (and, in relation to the Melanesian material, Fortess views on what was required for continuity and cohesion in social life have been challenged [by, for example, Strathern 1988, 1992; Leach 2003]), but Pitt-Rivers trains a kindly, respectful light on the whole project that Fortes set himself in considering the relations between kinship, amity and the social order, while implying or hinting without invoking Aristotle on friendship and lovethat friendship is best assimilated to the primordial/familial order of kin relations. This non-jural realm of kinship and friendship are equally the realm of sentiment (he says several times that the heart must rule in these relationships), truly moral values, and of the extension of the self (91). Since both involve the submersion of self-interest for the sake of someone else (1973:90; his italics), the use of amity is appropriate. Overall, though, Pitt-Rivers remains equivocal (or overly delicate) about revising his teachers perspective. He sometimes seems to endorse Fortess suggestion that it is behaviour that matters, not whether it is motivated by non-jural sentiments as opposed to jural norms, as when he suggestsby contrast to his stress elsewhere, on the heart and its uncoerced inclinationsthat amity can result from moral obligation, or when he underlines the difficulties caused by the fact that the state of the heartcannot be known for sure (98); at other times, he stresses the antithesis between the notions of jural and moral relations (96), and the requirement that amity remain purely moraluntrammelled by the jural domain (102; his emphasis). The careful distinctions Pitt-Rivers draws in this rumination on his teachers work have been claimed by specialists to form the basis for a rapprochement between new and classical kinship studies (Dousset 2005), yet, in effect and overall, PittRivers gently underlines the tensions in Fortess conception of kin relations and their relation to altruism. Indeed, the reader is sometimes struck by the thought that PittRivers wishes to imply, without actually saying, that his esteemed teachers key concept of prescriptive altruism embodies a contradiction: an act that is performed because it is required by a social rule is not altruistic, since the hearts inclinations are trumped by jural requirements no matter what. The term altruism, although it is intergral to the anthropological tradition that descends through Durkheim (see below), is not the critical issue facing Pitt-Rivers, as indicated by fact that hatred comes from the heart no less than the positive moral sentiments that define amity.


Pitt-Rivers actually had earlier exemplified nicely just how strongly the anthropology he had imbibed from his teachers at Oxford (the editors, after all, of African Political Systems [1940]) was focused on those relationships counted as crucial to the structural dimension of social life, those associated with notions like status, role, obligation, rights and dutyall of which were held to underwrite the solidarity of formal, enduring social units and those which, in traditional theoretical formulations like Durkheims, constitute social facts, external to, and as having a compelling and coercive power (1982:52) over, individuals. For example, in his contribution to a three part encyclopedia entry on kinship, Pitt-Rivers distinguished three varieties pseudo-kinship (1968), all of which were juxtaposed to kinship itself as an aspect of a distinction between societal rules and the individual will of those initiating such relationships. As in the later paper, discussed above, Pitt-Rivers underlines personal, moral feelings as the basis of friendship and juxtaposes this with relations between true brothers, which are so often idealised but no less often succumb to the dissonant demands of new families of procreation or evolve into bitter rivalries grounded in other aspects of routine kinship behaviour; friendship, of the sort that finds expression in the initiation of ritual kin ties, does not contradict any structural principles, for it is based only on favor and benevolence; as such, it is what cognatic kinship aspires to, but cannot be (1968: 412, original emphasis). Once again, the motivational basis of behaviour between ego and alter is crucial to the question of the type of relationship it is. Even earlier, in his ethnographic analysis of an Andalusian pueblo, Pitt-Rivers, like the village inhabitants (and other residents of rural Mediterranean communities, the literature suggests), had occasion to ponder the epistemic difficulties of friendshipof telling when it is true. The ethnographer worried that the personal criterion that distinguished true from false friendship flees from the anthropologist into the realms of motive (1954:139). Interestingly, Paine cites this passage twice in his writings on friendship; first, in his important rumination on the specificity of middle-class models of friendship that sociologists and anthropologists use in categorising kinship and other non-private, jural and relations (1969:507), and later in reference to the hazards of friendship in modern society, so dramatically evoked by the distress of families and friends of individuals who turn out to have been longterm spies (1999:48).


The stresses generated by the question of the role of motivations in intimate social relations are not peculiar to the British tradition: Marshall, worryingunder provocation from Schneider (1969; 1972)along similar lines to Pitt-Rivers, also concluded that motivations, in the form of commitments to kin and friends (to share and thereby maintain what he calls intensive interpersonal relationships), had to be counted as central to the relations sustaining Trukese society (1977). Evans-Pritchards foreword to Pitt-Riverss Andalusian monograph stresses the importance of the work as a demonstration of the usefulness of anthropological field-studies in settings outside small-scale societies: Pitt-Rivers got to know well the lives of real people, members of "a complicated set of interpersonal relations so that abstractions of social science are studied as relations between persons and in terms of what these abstractions mean for them: the inspector, the mayor, the policeman, the priest, the lawyer, the school-master and the doctor, or perhaps we should rather say the individuals who occupy these positions" (1954:x). The drift of the foreword is to suggest the anthropologists interactions with real persons, in settings whose study is normally the preserve of the historian and the sociologist (ix) makes particular analytical room for the occupant of the position rather than the status itself. But, as the monograph and many Pitt-Riverss other works shows, this complicates rather than solves the problems posed to the analyst by concepts like friendship, honour, shame, compadrazgo and grace, all of which implicate the motivational states of agents. And while, as Pitt-Rivers also stressed, such concepts typically implicate the sacred beings held to be the reference point for the values that real persons are required to embrace in their relations among themselves, this only serves to complicate matters for those anthropologists whose interests mean that they cannot rest content [with] a rule of conduct, a stated norm, those who are aware that other peoples, like ourselves, do not always do what they say they do, nor even what they believe they do (1967:71). And although he concedes (but only for the sake of argument, it would seem) that simple traditional societies still live in ideological unity the conflict between the normal and the normativethe desirable and the desired is commonplace; and where cultures come into contact individuals find themselves caught in the clash of norms and counter-norms (1967:71), so that the ethnographer must document social relations pervaded by a consciousness that only heroes and martyrs can close the moral gap between word and deed (85).


Paine, like Pitt-Rivers, underlines the trust and affectivity that friendship involves, and its consequent vulnerability. But, for the Western middle-class, choice is rendered less hazardouson the wholegiven the interstitial nature of friendship relative to market and bureaucratic processes; friendships carry less political and economic weight than other relations, so that friends are free to explore the possibility of attaining ideal relations (1969). His later essay moderates this picture: the ideal values associated with modern friendship presuppose relations between persons each of whom has verifiable self, but this makes for vulnerability too, either through the friends intent to deceive, or because of the friends self-deception (1999). Here, Paine seems to echo Aristotles view about variation in the personal virtue of each of the friends and the degree of perfection of the relationship between them (Pakaluk 2005). Reference to Paine and Pitt-Riverss work easily leads to the influential papers by Allan Silver (1989; 1990; 1997; 2003), whose careful, historically informed work on models of friendship in various strands of social science theory has attracted the attention of diverse scholars. Silver endorses Paines (1969) observations about the specificity of contemporary friendship in drawing many threads together to demonstrate how historically specific were the nineteenth century oppositions to which most later social theory was heir. (Silvers admiration for A.O. Hirschmanns The passions and the interests: political arguments for capitalism before its triumph (1977) is apparent, and acknowledged [1990:1474].) Although the juxtaposition of personalistic, private, moral and intimate modes of sociality to impersonal, public, commercial and formal modes concatenates different and independent sociological parameters, it corresponded with certain radical and conservative orientations to 19th century Europes past. This dichotomous picture came to represent the historical transition to modernity in addition to serving as the basis for societal typologies. On this view, friendships under modernity are stereotypically voluntary, unspecialized, informal and private grounded in open-ended commitments without explicit provision for their termination (1989:274). As such, friendship is exemplary of the private domain of personal life (1997:46) and diametrically opposed to the contractual, public and impersonal foundations of modernitys diacritical institutions. But, Silver argues, with a wealth of evidence from literature, through philosophy, the social sciences and economics, that that this domain of the private, however suffused


with historical imagery, is less a historical survival than a distinctive creation of the impersonal order central to modern economies and polities (1997:44). Indeed, the leading figures of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment (Smith, Hume, Ferguson) confound the presentism of later theorists in espousing a liberalism that celebrates commercial societys ability to partition self-interested relations from those grounded in moral sentiments (1990). In turn, James Carriers provocative essay on friendship and personhood extends this line of argument: he begins by contrasting contemporary Western views about friendship, as based on spontaneous and unconstrained sentiment (1999:21), with relations grounded in the demands or expectations placed upon them by the ties of kinship, trade, propiquity, interest or the like (22-3). This notion of friendship, entails a distinct conception of what people are like, of the self (23). Then, through an account of the history of that conception of self, and a contrast between it and the Melanesian self, as it emerges in anthropological accounts such as Stratherns (1988), Carrier suggests that the terms by which Westerners distinguish friendship from other sorts of relationships are (31). Finally, Carrierperhaps, rhetoricallydraws attention to a point alluded to by Paine (1969) and repeatedly underlined by sociologists of friendship (Allan 1979; Adams & Allan 1998; Pahl 2000), that Westerners intuitions about friendship, and what it entails or permits in the way of behaviour, is very much a function of time and place (36), even controlling for such factors as class. In the context of the debate occasioned by Stratherns juxtaposition of Melanesian dividuality and Western individuality, which has been central to discussion of the relationship between kinship and personhood for two decades, Carriers analysis seems to have implications that he forbears to state. For if Strathern suggests that anthropologists sometimes misread Melanesian personhood because they have naturalised Western notions about the individual, Carrier seems to suggest that Melanesian views of the person contrast with those of some Westerners much more than with others, whose commitment to individualism varies in important ways with gender (31-2) class (32-4) and other aspects of the broader social, political and economic context (36). Desai and Killick find they have reason to argue against Carriers position. Indeed, they appeal to the pre-industrial Aristotle in urging that the autonomous self is not exclusively a product of the capitalist West, but can be produced by other histories (2010:10). The indigenous Mapuche category of the person, as described in


their volume by Course (2010), for example, involves an autonomous individual self, together with the capacity to make friends; and while sentiment and its revelation is not as central to Mapuche friendship as it is to contemporary Western conceptions of paradigmatic friendship, it does entail the ontological individual (2010:9-10). Killicks research with the Asheninka of the Pervian Amazon likewise underlines the importance of self-sufficiency and of personal independence and autonomy in the formation of crucial social relationships (2009:705; see also Killick 2010). Desai and Killicks aim is to moderate the sort of point made by Paine, Silver and Carrier, rather than to oppose it entirely. They, and many of those in the volume they edited, argue that it is important to oppose the tendency of new kinship studies to annex friendship (and assimilate it to either consanguinity or affinity), while retaining a conception of it broad and flexible enough to explore contemporary transformations of local fields of sociality (Desai & Killick 2010). For them, patronclient relations no less than those between childhood playmates can count as forms of friendship; they cite and endorse Firth (1999:xiv) on the significant cross-cultural variability in the intensity of friendship. Their view, however, is not that of the hard-nosed structuralist: to the contrary, they endorse constructionist notions of personhood, but worry that without attention to the specificities of friendships forms we will miss how these articulate with ideas about kinship and other key relationships as well as with those about being a person (2010:15). If, they worry, the category of kinship is to engulf that of friendship, we will lose the capacity to track and explain empirical variation in the forms of each and in the relations between them. So while they seek to make connections between different kinds of social relations, they see it as important to retain the distinctions that are there in the empirical material. Colemans generous afterword to Desai & Killicks volume endorses this line; he says, with a touch of reificatory hyperbole, that being residual can give friendship its own power and (in an allusion to Giddens on modernitys concern with pure relationships) render it deeply and satisfyingly impure (2010:205). Whether it helps to summarise the difficulties that underlie the protracted discussions of social scientists by suggesting that we need to understand that there is voluntarism as well as constraint in the formation of relationships (Coleman 2010:205) will depend upon the extent to which we can avoid approaching the operative terms as


though they were independent variables in the generation of social outcomes, which would return us mid-20th century social theory. Here, as elsewhere in a discipline like anthropology, questions of translation and commensurability cannot be entirely ignored. Certainly, for example, that Aristotle wrote about what his translators are agreed is best rendered as friendship (which is itself not a trivial decision) does not make Aristotle party to our interest in whether different configurations of the relationship between history, personhood, sentiment, and friendship [show] that comparable, if not identical, ideas of friendship may occur in non-Western cultures (Killick 2009:702). And for those interested in friendship in cross-cultural comparison, the question whether the ego, self, or autonomous individual is constructed, more or less, by this or that social formation, is anything but straightforward. but how, relative to a given set of issues and questions, the theoretical picture is most fruitfully put together. Aristotles presumption that the factors relevant to human flourishing, the forms of interpersonal relations and the qualities of the broader polity were interrelated led him to forge concepts that remain helpful but (as the debate about whether his conception of friendship is altruistic or egoistic suggests) conceptual questions remain. Killick rightly expresses concern that while various attempts have been made to stabilize the category of friendship using ideas of autonomy, sentiment, lack of ritual, and lack of instrumentality, a general consensus is still lacking. What remains to be discussed, however, is whether an impulse to side-step the search for a final definition and instead to base [the] analysis on the indigenous forms encountered (2009:702), will solve the problem, especially when some of his colleagues are, for example, resolute in their conviction that friendship as any other social phenomenon is culturally constructed,[and] its manifestations are influenced by localized ways of being human and of being social (Aguilar 1999:170-1). It is very hard to see how constructionist views can resolve the sorts of issue that have arisen for scholars who have taken the social significance of friendship seriously, for it is precisely ambiguous with respect to oppositions that were assembled under the rubric of Talcott Parsonss pattern variables. In fact, Killick and Coleman (2010) seem no less equivocal about doctrines concerning the cultural construction of friendship (and kinship), which necessarily


give rise to fundamental questions that we hope to have shown have usually arisen in a crabwise fashion in empirical contexts, than was Pitt-Rivers or Fortes. And beyond, these contemporary scholars share an equivocation that consideration of the matter of friendship suggests has gone back to the founders of the social scienes. It is not just that thinking about friendship and moral values brings out the antinomies involved in the distinction between the jural and non-jural (and their cognates: see above), which was so important in the efforts to find the functional equivalent of Roman Law in small-scale polities (Roman Law was, via Radcliffe-Brown, the source of the concept of the jural that Fortes set in the foundations of his account of kinships role in the social order [1969: 90]), but that the vision of the individual social being at work in classical sociological formulations, when the utter non-fungibility of the friend or beloved is taken into account, seems to be incoherent. Durkheim wrote: When I perform my duties as a brother, a husband or a citizen and carry out the commitments I have entered into, I fulfil obligations which are defined in law and custom and which are external to myself and my action (1982: 50). More generally, he thought, the sociologist must appreciate the significance of types of behaviour and thinking external to the individual, but [which] are endowed with a compelling and coercive power by virtue of which, whether he wishes it or not, they impose themselves upon him (52). This line, of course, became orthodox: Human beings as individuals are objects of study for physiologists and psychologists. The human being as a person is a complex of social relationships. He is a citizen of England, a husband and a father, a brick-layer, a member of a particular Methodist congregation, a voter in a certain constituency, a member of his trade union, an adherent of the Labour Party, and so on. Note that each of these descriptions refers to a social relationship, or to a place in a social structure. Note also that a social personality is something that changes during the course of the life of the person. As a person, the human being is the object of study for the social anthropologist. (Radcliffe-Brown [1940] 1952:194) In Radcliffe-Browns formulation, becoming friends, like getting married or divorced, are aspects of the activities of individualshuman beings, in actually existing social relations with one another (1952:192)not of the persons that the social anthropologist is concerned to theorize over, which are relations compelled by norms and organised into institutions.


It is not coincidental that the professions and other institutionally defined aspects of Western modernity loom so large in these attempts to define status, or place in a social structure. (In passing, though, we might note that Durkheim, unlike some of his intellectual descendants, distinguished between what it is for someone to be a brother from what it is to act in accordance with whatever norms are expected between brothers.) In the more highly articulated forms of structuralfunctionalism developed by Talcott Parsons, the forms peculiar to the 20th century nation-state were even more conspicuous in the accounts of social structure. There too the friction evident in Fortess efforts to maintain the autonomy of familial morality while setting out how kinship rules and concepts determine citizenship in the political community (1969:87) becomes clear, even beyond the notion of a personality system as integral to a social system (Parsons 1937; Parsons & Shils 1951). Without labouring the point with some of the more exotic treatments of the problem of role conflicts, we note that the difficulties of this sort of approach became clear; what did not, was how to avoid them in alternative theoretical visions. Accordingly, there is a greater diversity of approach within the social sciences than at any point in their history. But, as Garfinkel suggests, in his ruminations occasioned by the 50th anniversary of the appearance of The structure of social action, a more productive future for social theory might require a look back at the aphorism Durkheims aphorismthat, as he reads it, set 20th century social science on its track: Garfinkel paraphrases it thus, The objective reality of social facts is sociology's fundamental principle (1988:103). The issue, of course, is not that this has straightforwardly been shown to be untenable, but that the complexity of all the key terms became apparent. For our purposes, the difficulty, as made plain by the anthropology of friendship, is the separation of the motivational bases of interaction from the pututively objective behavioural evidence available to the observer. In fact, though, while psychological behaviourism did attract 20th century social scientists like Talcott Parsons, the conceptions of social facticity that made it attractive are older. As the story is generally told (but is contested by various specialists) Hobbes sets up a vision of humans as psychological egoists; the Utilitarians broadcast this message more widely; Spencer and Comte (who actually coined the word altruism) inspire a sociology (of course, a term Comte also coined) 19

that understands the chief problem of human life [to be] the subordination of egoism to altruism ([1854] 2009:400); Durkheim repudiates the social contract tradition associated with most of those in the Hobbesian lineage, but retains a perspective in which the dualism of human nature is basic. Just what that dualism entails, and what significance it has for social theory, is still a matter of debate, across several disciplines (see, for example, Lukes 2007), but there is no doubt that Durkheim, at different periods, and to different extents, presented the human individual as a) that which socialization controls and b) that which socialization produces, through a postpartum process that is no less crucial than pre-partum epigenesis. On the first view, society constrains or moulds, and on the second, is a crucial part of what constitutes, a human person/ego: on the first view the ego is, so to speak, motivationally stratified (and sometimes conflicted), while on the second the ego is merely variegated (and sometimes conflicted). There are different possibilities, of course, within this division: for example, on the first sort of perspective, there is room for deep differences on the nature of that upon which socialization has its effects, from the ontotheological bearer of freedom to the product of Pleistocene selection pressures. That these visions were differentially taken up subsequently, and that they have different implications for the constitution of domains or realms of social life, is obvious. They also tend to be more or less congenial to those who entertain the thought that social science is relevant to the cultural critique and the improvement of future prospects. Finally, these visions have somewhat different implications for ways of thinking about the relationship between friendship and kinship as analytical foci for anthropology. The point of making these remarks is not simply to bring this piece to closure through a brief Ouroboric gesture towards the beginnings. We have already cited Colemans summary viewsso evocative of Parsonsabout the combination of voluntarism and constraint at work in the formation of social relationships. There is also some contemporary interest in notions like doing family or friendship, performing relatedness or kinship, and kinning as a social practice. To the extent that these formulations pre-empt the long-standing debates or presuppose without stating answers to some of the fundamental questions, it is worth closing with a reminder about the possibilityindeed, the standing possibilityof the presence of the theoretical past in the present.


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