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You are required to conduct a qualitative analysis using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) using the methods outlined in the interactive workshops. You are asked to pick out one or two specific themes to write up using the guidelines outlined below. Whether you select one or two themes will depend on whether you have one long theme (with several sub-themes) or two shorter themes.

The superordinate theme should be on the topic of friendship in emerging adulthood. You are free to explore any aspect of friendship that you find good evidence for in your IPA analysis. Make sure you find some points of comparison between both interviews. Time will be set aside in the lab sessions to look through your ideas and explain the coding and analysis in detail, as well as give advice on writing up your theme, and any subthemes that you find.

In Portfolio Assignment 2 you need to report on your findings of your analysis. This will include an introduction, and a results section with an explanation of your superordinate theme, along with any subthemes, and a brief discussion of your results. This is in effect a shortened version of a qualitative report, but you will not have to write a full method section – only the sections outlined in the template below.

Methodology

The current research is aimed to conduct the qualitative analysis about friendship based on the two interviews conducted. The interviews were extracted from the study space and the interviews watched repeatedly before writing the analysis. The first interview was of Mr Alexander who is male studying in United Kingdom. Similarly the second interview Ms Louise who was also studying in UK. Open end questionnaire was used to collect the data and the similar types of questions were asked to both the respondents so that the different views on the friendship can be analyzed. The male and the female combination of the respondents were taken for the analysis so that the different perspective of both the gender can be analyzed. Both the interview was taken separately by the same interviewer so that there is no bias in the data collection process. After analyzing the interviews closely some themes has been developed which has been explained in detail below. For the analysis purpose the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) which focus mainly on the response of different person in different context and situation. 

In this research interview of the two respondents have been taken into consideration. The first one is Alexander, who was born in Austria and now studying in UK. Second participant is Louise, who is also staying in Liverpool and studying. The open ended questionnaire was used for the analysis   

The first theme to analyze the friendship is to analyze the first step of friendship i.e how the two friends met for the first time and where. In the current research the meeting point about their close friend was asked. The first respondents Alexander said that he met his close friend at the history class. In the initial period they do not have much interaction, however with time they became friends and after some time close friends. Alexander was very excited when he mention his friend which shows that he is very happy to have such a close friend in his life. Since Alexander have rough childhood as his parents separated when he was still a kid, a close friend was very helpful for him. On the basis of this analysis it can be said that the importance of friend on someone’s life also depends on his childhood and family. Another key takeaway from Alexander response was that the meeting point for most of the friends are in the academic institution be it school, high school of college(Adams & Berzonsky, 2002; Demetriou, Goalen, & Rudduck, 2000).

Theme 1: Meeting Point of Friends

On the other hand when the interviewer asked Louise about the meeting point with her close friend, she respond that the kitchen of her new apartment was their meeting point. There were five members in the house who share the same kitchen. She also said that in the initial stage it was just the normal conversation. However with time they get along and became good friends. They share some common interest which also help them to make close friends. Furthermore when asked about the male friends, and the starting point of friendship with them, Louise said that the college halls was the starting point. However Alexander do not talk much about his female friends and their starting point.  

This shows that the most common staring point of friendship were common place such as the classroom, college hall of the common Kitchen. It also shows that the no one became close friend at first meeting. With some regular conversation, common interest the normal friends are converted to the close friend.

Another important observation from the interview is that the girls make more friends as compare to the boys.  In other words girls make close friends whenever they go, be it at school, high school, or college. They have different friends at different places. On the other hand boys stick to their friends from childhood and avoid making new close ones.

Another important theme in the research is about the virtual and the real friends. With increasing use of various social media platform, it is possible to become friends without meeting the person in reality. In this cases both the respondents said that most of their friends on social media are the same friends whom they have met. Alexander said that he has joined some forum and blog while he was traveling to USA and there he became friends with some people. Later he met those friends in USA. Similarly for Louise also most of the friends are same and there are only few friends whom she does not know personally or have not met yet. Another interesting point raised by the Alexander about the friends is that initially the group of friend is quite big. In his case, at college there were 15 friends in his group. However over the period of time the group keep breaking and max 2-3 members are in each group.  This also depends on the common interest and understanding among each other.

Theme 2: Activities with Friends

The second theme in the current research is based on the activities one do when they are with friends. Interviewer asked both the respondents what they do, when they are with friends. Alexander said that he goes out with his friends and visit different place or else just stay in the room and discuss about different topics. He seems to enjoy his time with friends and he was very happy explaining these things. On the other hand when same question was asked to Louise, she said that she watch television or just gossip when she is with her close friend. On the basis of these responses it can be concluded that irrespective of the gender and the type of the person, people seems enjoy spending time with their friends. 

One of the main motive of those interviews was to analyze the importance of friendship in a person’s life. With the same motive the interviewer asked the importance of friendship to both the respondents.

Alexander respond that friends are very important in his life. He says that friends are like family and they play very important role in his life.  According to Alex “ Friends are the most important thing in your life, you can share things with friends which you cannot share with your family”. This shows that Alexander consider friends equal to his family members. One of the reason behind such response from him is that his family history was not good. The parents got separated when he was small and also his father died soon. He has not got the adequate parenting, so all he has in his life were friends, especially the close ones. He also shared that in school he was insulted and bullied by some people. So, for Alexander it was very difficult to trust anyone quickly. On one hand bad family experience and then bullying so, he choose his friends slowly but once they become close he share everything with them. They were like family to him. So for Alexander friends were one of the most important of his life(Buote et al., 2007).

On the other hand when similar question was asked to Louise, she also agreed that friends are very important in her life also. She also said that you need friends to share your feelings, expression which you cannot share with other people.  She also said that her family has also met some of her friends in school and high school. However when she moved to Liverpool for higher studies, her family has not met her new friends. She argued that one get all types of help from friends such as the emotional, monetary or social help. However she argued that not all friends are helpful all the times. There are some friends who just take the advantage and do not help when you are in need. This is maybe she had some bad experience with her friends. 

Theme 3: Importance of Friendship

In the previous theme the importance of friendship has been discussed and the next theme for the current search is to look at some specific incidents which the friends have done. This can be either the act of kindness or the betrayal.

When the interviewer asked Alexander about some specific act of kindness a friend have done for him. Alex laugh and said there are many. When the interviewer asked to be specific, he said once his friend’s parents invited him to their place and he was having a bad time those days. Once he went to their house and interact with them he feel good and his friend’s parents and his friend took care of him very well. While explaining the incidents Alexander was little emotional, which indicates that he was really touched by the act of kindness. When asked if has been ever let down by his friends he was not sure and do not respond instantly. This is may be has never had such experience or he do not want to disclose.

Similarly when Louise was asked about the act of kindness by her friends, she laugh and thinks for some time. This shows that she do not have any specific incidents which touched her. Finally she said that when she is upset or sad, her friends cheer her up and support her. This indicate friendship is also about give and take. In other words if you want to receive special act of kindness from friend you should be ready to give also. However when she was asked if she was ever let down by her friends, she respond instantly that one of her close friend cheated with her boyfriend. Even though her friend cheated, she blame her boyfriend more than her friend. They are still friends and Lousine do not raise any of these concerns with her close friend. She also said that once you are cheated, it is very difficult to trust anyone else. So, after the incident she became more careful in choosing friends.

The last theme for the current research is the friendship with opposite gender. When Louise was asked whether she have male friends she said that she has many male friends and most of them are from her college. She has met most of them in college halls or classroom. She also said that the male friends are better than the female ones as the male friends are not judgmental. Also it is easy to talk to the male friends as compare to the female friends(Durell, E ., & Bair, 2007). She even feels that most of the male friends are like brother from another mother, which indicates that she is really close to them treat them as one of the family members. On the other hand when similar question was asked to Alexander, he do not talk much about the female friends. This indicates that he do not have more female friends and also that he do not like to discuss about them(DeSousa1 & Cerqueira-Santos, 2012; Radmacher & Azmitiz, 2006). 

Theme 4: Specific Incidents of Kindness and Betrayal

So on the basis of the both the responses it can be said the friends have special place in everyone’s life. It has been seen from the other research that human are the social animal and they need social interaction and continuous support. People having no friends have high chances of depression and other social problems. Friends also help you to adjust in the environment, especially if you are relocating to the new place. In nutshell friends are important part of everybody’s life(Demetriou et al., 2000; Demir & Urgerg, 2004; Eggens, Werf, & Boske, 2008).

On the basis of the above analysis it can be said that the boys focus more on the positive things about their friends and when it comes to the negative part, they refrain from mentioning it. It can be said that they forget about the incident and move ahead. On the other the case is completely different with the girls. They are not very enthusiastic to mention about the act of kindness, however when it comes to complaining they remember each and every thing. So, there is difference in gender about the act of kindness and the letting down by the friends. Boys often forget about the past things (especially if they been let down) however girls keep bringing the past incidence especially if they have been cheated by their friend(Nicolaisen & Thorsen, 2016).

References

Adams, G., & Berzonsky, M. (2002). Klute on Friendships. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Buote, V., Pance, S. M., M V ., P., Adams, G., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., J, P., & Gallander-Wintre. (2007). The importance of friends: Friendship and adjustment amongst 1st year university students. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(665–689).

Demetriou, H., Goalen, & Rudduck. (2000). Academic performance, transfer, transition and friendship: listening to the student voice. International Journal of Educational Research, 33, 425–441.

Demir, M., & Urgerg, K. A. (2004). Friendship and adjustments among adolescents. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 88, 66–82.

DeSousa1, D. A., & Cerqueira-Santos, E. (2012). Intimate Friendship Relationships among Young Adults. Paidéia, 22, 325–333.

Durell, J. H., E ., B., & Bair, M. (2007). Identity as a moderator of gender difference in the emotional closeness of emerging adults same and different cross-sex friendships. Adolescence, 42, 1–23.

Eggens, L., Werf, M. P. C. van der, & Boske, R. J. (2008). The influence of personal networks and social support on study attainment of students in university educatio. Higher Education, 55, 553–573.

Nicolaisen, M., & Thorsen, K. (2016). What Are Friends for? Friendships and Loneliness Over the Lifespan—From 18 to 79 Years. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 84(2).

Radmacher, K., & Azmitiz, M. (2006). Are there gendered pathways to intimacy in early adolescents and emerging adults’ friendships. Journal of Adolescent Research, 21, 415–448.

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