Raymonde Carroll: L'amitié / Friendship

Raymonde Carroll: L'amitié / Friendship


Salut, comparé au texte sur "Parents et enfants", j'ai trouvé que celui-ci était très intéressant. En ce qui concerne les exemples français, tout ce qui est dit est pertinent même si chacun gère ses amis de façon différente. J'aimerais savoir si vous vous reconnaissez aussi dans les descriptions qui sont faites de l'amitié américaine. Je trouve d'ailleurs qu'il y a somme toute peu de différences sur le fond entre les amitiés américaines et françaises. Seule la façon de se comporter est différente ce qui est parfois surprenant.

The reading seemed to imply that French people aren't afraid to offend their friends or get on their bad side by telling them what they are truly thinking about them. On the other hand, Americans are portrayed as only being there to cheer their friends up and raise their self-esteem. I don't really think that this generalization is true, though I don't know much about the friendships in France. I find that my close friends usually give me their opinions and are sometimes even blunt about things. I think that friends that are not as close to you may fit the general description expressed in this passage, but close friends are honest to you.

salut, Amy Une chose importante que tu dois certainement savoir est que l'amitié est sacrée.Nous avons tous un ami cher sur qui nous pouvons compter et que l'on est pret à aider s'il est en difficulté.Une des priorités à respecter pour conserver une amitié saine est la franchise. Il ne faut pas avoir peur de dire ce que l'on pense et ne pas se formaliser quand un ami vous critique. Ce ne peut etre qu'enrichissant car nous voulons le meilleur pour notre ami. Cela dit, les paroles ne doivent pas etre trop brusqes mais dites de manière à ce que l'autre les comprenne sans se vexer. j'ai mis beaucoup de temps pour pouvoir direaux autres ce que je pensais vraiment mais désormais je mesens plus à l'aise et ça a renforcé les liens que j'avais avec mes amis.

I think the author made some interesting points, but also, a lot of generalizations. Not all friendships are as he described them to be and I know personally that I can be very direct with my friends. But there is a difference between criticizing and criticizing constructively. I think it is true that we tend to criticize so that we can improve a situation, rather than criticizing for no reason. When you are critical of a friend, why do you do it? To help the person? Out of habit? Because it is part of the general mathod to approaching peoople?


So the author says that

Pour les Americains... une multitude des dangers menace [l'amitie]: la seperation, la distance, le silence...

That surprises me because I went home last week, and I saw friends that I have not even talked to in 3 months, and there certainly was no loss of friendship. In fact, it was as if we'd never been gone. I certainly disagree with the author.

I've a question. Would you folks over on that side of the Atlantic call me a friend? Well, maybe not just me, but us - the Americans. Are we your friends? We have never met, but on the other hand, we do know about each other and our opinions on a few somewhat personal topics.

Hello Everyone:

I am surprised how the author makes it sound more like: American friendship is more inclined in rasing each other's self esteem instead of making each other see the truth. However, I think that this is a type of Friendship and not necessarily an American one.Friendship is not necessarily determined by culture completely, since there is one sole human nature: we all feel affection for someone independent of our cultural background.


I think that some of the authors points are correct in certain situations. Your friend might really need a self-esteem booster, but other times, constructive criticism would be helpful. I don't think that one can make generalizations on the type of friendships that peeople have. Also, I agree with Thomas that friendships in the U.S. don't die because of separation. There are so many inexpensive forms of communication and keeping in touch requires little effort.

I agree with Cynthia that the author made many generalizations that were not necessarily true. I definitely don't feel like Americans are scared to tell their friends up front what they think; my friends and I talk very openly and honestly with each other, and part of what makes a good friend is someone who you can trust to tell you the complete truth. Someone you are close to will not be afraid of offending you because you know they mean well. I also do not think that what the author says about Americans being afraid of overburdening their friends is true. Friends are there for someone through thick and thin, and if you have to worry about "bothering" a friend with a problem, then chances are they're not a good friend.

I'm curious as to how the author achieved his stance on american friendship. Are the sentiments of the author, regarding friendship here in America, echoed in general society there?

I think it would be interesting if it was since I can't say I've ever heard anything about what friendship is in France(till this assignment).


I also think that there are a lot of generalizations made in this excerpt. The way that the author explains friendship certainly is not the way that I see it. I do not expect anything in return everytime I do something nice for a friend. It would be a ridiculous task to tally all of the time, money and efforts spent on someone. I don't think that it so much of a cultural difference as it is a difference in people... depending on the situation my friends cheer me up but they also get me on track when I need it. I am interested as to what you think of the psychiatrist part?

I would like to mention two aspects that I found interesting in this article. I do believe that in the U.S., a lot of people are afraid of certain relationships becoming too strong, and that relations are actually destroyed because they became too serious. I can only comment about America not France. But I definitely think that Raymond Carroll is correct. He is not necessarily generalizing.However, Raymond Carroll is not completely correct when he STATES that in both the U.S. and France, friends tell to each other secrets that cannot be told to parents, family, etc. This is not always true.


I agree with what the author said about several aspects of american "friendships", such as going to a friend for moral support. On the other hand, I talk freely with my friends about anything and everything. I'm over 2000 miles away from my childhood friends and we still keep in touch. So far, our friendships have lost none of trust that was present when I was at home. People whom I consider friends, are still my friends, despite changes in distance and lifestyle. My friends are people who I trust and know all about my life, even though I'm in Massachusetts and they're in Washington and California. I would hope a friend would be someone like that no matter what culture I am in. What the author said about equality and mutuality in American friendships might be true for some people, but definately not for me. I would listen to my friend for hours even if I hadn't complained to her/him for a month. Now there was a time in my life when equality and mutuality seemed to be important in friendships, but that was in grade school. Then it seemed like everything was supposed to be fair and equal. Now, who cares? If you are true friends it shouldn't be an issue.

Salut Megan! Je suis tout à fait de ton avis. Comme toi je pense que le plus important dans l'amitié est la confiance (trust) et non pas des rapports égalitaires...Un ami est en effet quelqu'un que l'on apprécie, pour qui l'on a une réelle affection et pour qui on s'inquiète. Ses problèmes doivent nous toucher aussi profondément que nous toucheraient les nôtres. Nous devons pouvoir nous confier sans attendre en retour une confidence ou autre chose. On cherche et on trouve le réconfort auprès de nos amis, quand on en a basoin. Je considère qu'à pertir du moment où deux personnes se considèrent "amies", plus rien ne doit être un problème.

Hello everyone:

I was wondering if the concept or real friendship is influenced by culture. What is a real frienship for the french? Personally, I think a solid , truthful friendship is one where each other is transparent and honest to each other.Do you think best friends are the ones we encounter in our childhood? In our class many people's best friends seem to be friends from childhood and/or high school.


Chère Winnie, Pour moi, une réelle amitié est fondée sur l'honneteté, la sincirité dans les rapports mais surtout la franchise. La plupart de mes amis sont des personnes que j'ai rencontrées il y a seulement deux ou trois ans mais j'en garde deux que je connais depuis plus de 12 ans. Une amitié se fonde sur une relation sans tabou. En effet, qu'y a-t-il de plus handicapant dans ce genre de relation qu'un non-dit, un secret. La confiance doit être totale et cela peut prendre plusieurs mois, voire plusieurs années. Il ne faut en aucun cas avoir des a priori sur les gens pour ne pas gener une future amitié. Les amis d'enfance peuvent avoir une place particulière dans notre coeur car nous avons vécu ensemble les plus belles années de notre vie. Ce n'est cependant pas mon opinion! En effet, je pense que ces relations ne sont pas aussi profondes que celles que l'on noue quelques années plus tard. Aujourd'hui mes amis sont des gens avec les quels j'ai envie de communiquer, à qui je peux me confier tout en ayant une entière confiance en leur discrétion. XaXa.


je pense qu'un vrai ami est quelqu'un à qui tu peux te confier, qui sera là pour t'aider quand tu auras un problème mais aussi avec qui tu pourras rigoler, sortir, ...


I agree with the majority of the Americans. Raymond Carroll presented different approaches to friendship, but I don't think he is correct in saying that one technique is uniquely "American" or not.

I rely on my friends to tell me when I'm out of line. If my best friends can't tell me that I've done something stupid, who can? But on the other hand, my friends are also there to give moral support when I need it. It's a balance of both.

did not think that the author was saying that american friends can not be straight with each other. the way i saw it was that, fearing that they would dig an even deeper hole for a friend in trouble, they would point out their mistake tactfully, while at the same time trying to look for a solution and to see the "brighter side" or to bandage their broken ego. again, it is a generalization but he is trying to propose a theory and when isn't a theory generalized. i think his main point was more along the lines that the french are a little more prone to say "you were wrong" or "you failed" while the americans are more prone to say "maybe you should have done this" or you were wrong but at least you did your best"; a notion that was presented when we defined what a good student was. most americans replied: "someone who does their best", something that was rarely mentioned by the french.

Hi everyone,

I agree with Maria that to make a theory about the differences between American and French friendships, the author had to make some kind of generalization. I also believe that in the US (and thoughout the world, I suppose) there are many different kinds of friends. There are the ones that last forever and those that are just passing acquaintances, as well as everything in between. The author may generalize all he wishes about American friendships, but what I think was unfair was that he compared the most intimate French friendships to various levels of friendships on the American side. And the result of this comparison was to make American friends seem superficial and French friendships seem more solid and honest.

Perhaps the French have higher standards for what they call "friends"? Do you (French students) only consider the type of person described in the essay as your friend? Or are there people who are not as close to you who you would still call "friend"?

Salut à tous, en France, nous avons deux mots pour traduire "friend". On utilise le terme "ami/e" pour quelqu'un qui est très proche de nous et en qui l'on a confiance. On utilise le terme "copain/copine" pour quelqu'un que l'on aime bien mais qui n'est pas très proche de nous.

I agree that friendship is based on trust and honesty, but even friends grow apart. I have moved more times than I would like to remember and I have not been able to keep up with all my friends from the various states in which I have lived. Even my friends from the last high school I attended, I have not kept in total contact with. There is some truth when the author states that distance creates problems with american friendships. It might not show up with all friends, but probably with the majority of them Lorri

I think there are lots of different types of friendships.... I know I have very close friends I feel comfortable telling anything to, but I am also friends with people I don't really trust... there are varying degrees of friednship in my life, and I don't think that's unusual or unhealthy. I am curious because it seems like the author is labeling Americans as having lots of shallow friendships, which I think we do, but I think we have deeper ones also. Do you consider people you hang out with but don't necessarily confide in friends?

I agree with Eileen. I have some friends who if I didn't see for a year, I probably wouldn't still be friends with. So, in some sense, many American friendships are "fragile". But it is the few close friends that really count, and I don't think that those relationships are fragile at all. Do Americans just have more shallow friends, while the French have only closer friends?

I think that the difference between




is a very good way to describe both the difference that Damien was talking about


the difference that Eileen was talking about. There are varying degrees of friendship in both cultures. As Allison suggested, it may be that Americans have more shallow friends/


than the French, but I'm not sure it is entirely true. Perhaps, in the article, the author was looking at the fact that Americans have one word where the French have two. Maybe, if the author cared to include

des copains

in her discussion of French friendship, there would have not been a difference to write about.