Friendships are both personal and individual but are also embedded within the wider social world and are reflective of this. This research investigates the intimate micro social processes and practices of friendship and looks at how these relationships help to shape everyday life in diverse inner urban localities for adults and children.


We are focusing on the friendships adults and children make in and through primary schools. In super-diverse localities, primary schools are one of the few places where adults and children from different backgrounds may be most likely to meet and interact in an everyday context over a sustained period of time.

It is in this context that we examine first, children’s friendship patterns and practices and second the ways in which children’s friendships generate friendships between their parents/adult carers. The project explores what adults think about their own connections and relations with other parents and their children’s friendships with their peers and addresses how these relationships and friendships contribute to parents feeling part of – and taking part in – a school community and whether these experiences of friendship facilitate a sense of embedded-ness and belonging to the localities in which people live.  

Research Questions

This leads us to ask the following research questions: orange boygreen girl

  • To what extent do socially and ethnically mixed adult and child friendships exist and under what circumstances and in what forms do these friendships become established?
  • In what ways and to what extent is class and/or ethnic difference perceived, negotiated and competently accommodated within adults and children’s friendships?
  • How do adults understand their children’s exposure to class and ethnic diversity and how do they experience and respond to class and /or ethnic difference in relation to their children’s mixed friendships?
  • To what extent and how do mixed adult and child friendships and affective practices create and sustain social and cultural exchange capacity and resource?