Monday, April 20, 2009

What kind of relationships do you have?

A. Giddens discusses the concept of “pure relationships”. He defines these types of relationships as any relationship an individual has “purely for the sake of the relationship” (Allan, 2008, p.406). This could be the relationship you have with your best friend. On the other hand he also discusses “traditional relationships” in which the intentions of the relationship are based on a social purpose. Giddens provides arranged marriages as a type of traditional relationship. Think about all the types of relationships individuals have in society. What are some examples of pure and traditional relationships you have or have had in your life experiences? It may help to think of relationships you have based on trust, would these be social (traditional) or personal (pure) relationships?


  1. For me, in regards to personal relationships I would include my family and close friends in this category because I know I can go to these individuals if I ever need any help with anything. When it comes to the more traditional relationships this category almost always includes work (because I'm a merchandiser so I don't usually work with fellow co-workers unless it's a holiday) and school because I don't really see these individuals outside of that network so I have no idea who they really are as individuals. I'm sure other people have similar relationships with family and friends and in a way doing business and pleasure when it is appropriate.

  2. I think that both pure and traditional relationships dont have to be referred to as two seperate "types" of relationships. I disagree with Giddens on the separation of the two types of relationships. By using his definition, we infer that the two cannot overlap each other when in fact there are pure and traditional relationships that do overlap. Take a romantic relationship for exmaple, people may think of it as pure and traditional at the same time (social and personal). Family can also be seen as personal relationships as well as a function of society therefore making it social as well.

  3. I would have to disagree with my fellow classmate, On April 27, Karidoodles said: “I think that both pure and traditional relationships don’t have to be referred to as two separate "types" of relationships.”

    I believe Giddens hit it right on the money we have to separate relationships because they are not the same. Traditional relationships may include our professors, class mates, day care providers, store clerks. Our role with each other are short and simple. If I have $20 in my hand and give them to the Circle K clerk for gas, I rely that he/she will complete the necessary transaction for me to pump the gas into my vehicle. By human nature we need and depend on pure relationships our family, significant other, best friends. They are there for moral support, sometimes financial support, security and trust. Pure relationships unlike traditional relationships need commitment. If for whatever reason one wishes to brake this commitment its not that easy, for these moments have major life transitions. Traditional relationships are easy to walk away from because usually they don’t involve deep feelings. Both pure relationships and traditional relationships cannot just mix and become one, separating the two keeps our society balanced. One relationship can lead to another though. If I put gas at the same place every week with the same clerk small talk will happen, then more talk and then before you know were good friends and their family and mine are sitting together at a BBQ.