A friend in need? [editorial]

Golightley, Malcolm and Holloway, Margaret (2016) A friend in need? [editorial]. British Journal of Social Work, 46 (7). pp. 1831-1838. ISSN 0045-3102

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw158

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


In recent months and years, each of us has experienced the deaths of friends. Among the many thoughts and feelings which these losses provoke, we have found ourselves reflecting on the nature of friendship. It is often said that we choose our friends whereas we cannot choose our family of birth and we do so for a number of reasons. Friends (at least, those we value) are people we enjoy being with, for the most part anyway; they are people with whom we feel a connection even if at first sight we may not appear to have much in common; they are often people with whom we share interests; they are people who will help us out when we have a problem and to whom we expect to be able to turn in times of real trouble; above all, good friends are people whom we trust—and this may be the ultimate test of the strength of a friendship. These qualities may be present in a relatively new but intensively pursued friendship or with someone we have known for a long time but now see infrequently; some people like to refer to their ‘oldest friend’. Friendship in the modern world has taken a number of different turns, however. As families come in all shapes and sizes, so also, in certain lifestyles, friends are ‘like family’ or indeed closer. There can be no greater test of friendship than when a friend gives themselves to being with and caring for a friend at the end of life. In our intimate relationships, we increasingly hear one partner refer to the other as ‘my best friend’. Yet the term proliferates in social media to identify a quite different relationship, including the ability to ‘unfriend’ someone at the click of a mouse. Interestingly, we recently published an article in the BritishJournal ofSocialWork which found that, at the end of the day, it was the traditional friendships pursued offline by which young people set the most store (Sen, 2016).

Keywords:Social work
Subjects:L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
ID Code:27942
Deposited On:06 Oct 2017 09:42

Repository Staff Only: item control page