Emotional Reflexivity in Contemporary Friendships: Understanding it using Elias and Facebook etiquette

Mary Holmes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The popular social networking site Facebook has become a part of millions of people's everyday lives. In order to help people navigate the friendships they form and maintain on Facebook there are many websites offering advice about etiquette. This advice, and responses to it, can help reveal how contemporary emotional expression is organised, especially as it relates to friendship. This paper critically adapts the approach of other sociologists such as Norbert Elias, and Cas Wouters who have used etiquette and advice books to explore social changes in emotionality. Using online advice about Facebook etiquette, it is argued that there is uncertainty about the degree of emotional closeness appropriate for friendships in contemporary life, especially where there are status differences. It is difficult to know how to feel and how to behave within the relational complexity of contemporary life. In particular, expanded definitions of friendship form part of this complexity which promotes and requires an 'emotionalisation of reflexivity'.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11
    Number of pages12
    JournalSociological Research Online
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2011

    Keywords

    • Elias
    • Emotion
    • Facebook
    • Friendship
    • Manners
    • Reflexivity

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