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Someone To Talk To$
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Mario Luis Small

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190661427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190661427.001.0001

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Incompatible Expectations

Incompatible Expectations

Why They Avoided Strong Ties

(p.64) Chapter 4 Incompatible Expectations
Someone To Talk To

Mario Luis Small

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that the graduate students sometimes approached weak ties because they were avoiding strong ones, and that the heart of their reservations lay in the possibility of incompatible expectations—in the potential discordance between different roles that those they were close to might expect to perform. It begins by explaining that the students maintained different kinds of strong ties and confided in people with whom they had different kinds of relationships. The former can be classified by their degree of institutional mediation; the latter, by the extent of emotional reciprocity. Institutional mediation introduced additional expectations to a relationship; emotional reciprocity, when it was lacking, created the possibility of ambiguity. Both factors shaped how reluctant students were to approach those to whom they were close when they needed to discuss particular topics.

Keywords:   graduate students, weak ties, incompatible expectations, strong ties, institutional mediation, emotional reciprocity, hierarchy, family, multiplexity, relationships

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