This study considers how different constructions of self and social reality influence the experience of relationship. Reflecting the relational interdependence of West African worlds, the authors hypothesized and observed that Ghanaian participants were significantly more likely than U.S.A. participants to advocate caution toward friends and to emphasize practical assistance in friendship. Reflecting the atomistic independence of North American worlds, the authors hypothesized and observed that U.S.A. participants were significantly more likely than Ghanaian participants to indicate a large friendship network; to emphasize companionship, particularly relative to Ghanaian women; and to emphasize emotional support, particularly relative to Ghanaian nonstudents. Results suggest that friendship is not a universal form; instead, it takes different forms in different cultural worlds.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/victoria_plaut/28/