SOCIAL SCIENCES

Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close

S. & S. Jul. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781982111908. $26. SOC SCI
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Sow and Friedman, hosts of the popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend, practice radical honesty in sharing their story of decades-long friendship, in this generation-defining work that is both a memoir of a friendship and a manifesto for a new sociological designation. Only recently has it become common for women and men to openly acknowledge that friendships require the same kinds of care and emotional investment that familial and romantic bonds do. The authors are not the first to declare that friendship is understudied and undervalued, but they may be the first to write about friendship’s place in modern life with such engaging prose and accessibly composed research. Each chapter in the book honors either a milestone in their bonding or a key concept in the sociology of friendship. Sections begin with a story about Sow or Friedman’s experiences working, living, and loving in cities like Austin, Washington, DC, or Los Angeles, and end with considered discussion of friendship theory and how it pertains to their lives.
VERDICT This vital book will be especially useful for young women as they navigate their relationships and the world, but may also be an important read for older women who are reflecting on how they grew up and who they came of age alongside.

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