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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Friendships exist within activity settings (classrooms, work, play groups) and are impacted by cultural blueprints that define their parameters. These rules are products of historical events, economic and subsistence systems, parental beliefs, and religious and philosophical views. These rules impact the behavior exhibited by friends with respect to intimacy, exclusivity, enhancement of worth, and management of conflict. Studies of friendship in Indonesia and South Korea provide examples of the range of friendship diversity. Whereas Korean friendships tend to be very intimate, exclusive, and durable, Indonesian friendships are more likely to be low in intimacy, extensive, and more transient. Individualism-collectivism models seem inadequate for explaining cultural variation in friendship, and it is unlikely that a comprehensive theory of cultural variation in friendship patterns will emerge. Instead, it may be more useful to look at prototypical patterns of friendship and map the extent to which these are common in different cultures.

Keywords: intimacy, culture, conflict, individualism-collectivism, Indonesia, Korea, friendship prototypes

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