SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Batemans Bay

Isn’t it nice to be in love? Isn’t the feeling of love wonderful? But wait – are we talking about the enticing, heart-pounding, sexualised passionate form of love, or the steady-as-she goes companionate form of love we feel for friends, families and partners we’ve known a long time? Or are we talking about something else? Should love be overwhelming or considered? Perhaps it depends on our social context.

The experience and structures of love and intimacy in society have changed over time. Love in the Victorian Era involved published etiquette-based rules of courtship, and considerations of many things besides how one simply felt – there was one’s gender, class, finances, and the social respectability that came with marriage and family to keep in mind. Moving into contemporary times, Anthony Giddens describes the ‘transformation of intimacy’ in the later 20th century ‘late modern’ period, which continues today. We have so much more independence now from the constraints of traditional family and gender roles, that we can (and do) seek love and the ‘pure relationship’ in any number of forms. And Eva Illouz argues that this has created a society of commitment shy people – men in particular – and new inequalities in gender and intimacy.

What do you think? Has love changed? Is ‘all fair’ in love and sex these days?

#S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Bbay

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

6 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Batemans Bay

Ali Minogue said : Guest Report 7 months ago

The word 'love' and its meaning has unquestionably changed over time. What I have found interesting is looking at the topic of Love, from a sociologist perspective this week. To begin with, one word can represent so many different meanings and can be understood in so many ways. Such as; romantic love, passionate love, sexual love, parental love, friendship love, intimate love, and even the love we can have for material objects. As Jackson states, ‘Love is not an observable emotion’, rather it is descriptive based, which has an element of language and is cultural constructed through various stages and societies. What I have come to understand from this sociologist view is that emotions are social. That emotions and bodies are constructed and shaped by the social time/ or social period and, in the culture in which we live. That to some degree there is the ability for us to think about the way we feel and change them, but there is the cultural, social element that undoubted shapes the way we feel. But most importantly, is the idea how love and intimacy that people share has changed overtime, in particular ways. A sociological view of love tends to reflect the different understands of different societies and this certainly reflects the general societal understanding of love. This can be seen in the changes in the way society was structed in the Victorian Era, from being more formalised and conservative style of love and intimacy. This was based on economic security, family status and other reasons that were understood to be most desirable, to a more modernistic style. The formal processes protected in law to keep the nuclear family together have fallen away, resulting in many things but most significant is the freedom to choose. Modern society allows the freedom to purse love and intimacy in what Giddens called the ‘pure relationship’. This is defined as being an equal and having a mutual appreciation for each other, but he also acknowledges that this freedom appears to threaten men. For Illouz however the freedom of choice has transformed love and romance in the modern period and revealed that the key issue is the changing nature of masculinity and it is now men who are have commitment phobia. This is what Illouz calls, the New Architecture of romantic choice, which argues that it ultimately disadvantages the modern women. This is something I am not sure I entirely agree on as with freedom came movement of a women's right to choose, providing them with power to make their own choices in life.

Ali Minogue said : Guest Report 7 months ago

The word 'love' and its meaning has unquestionably changed over time. What I have found interesting is looking at the topic of Love, from a sociologist perspective this week. To begin with, one word can represent so many different meanings and can be understood in so many ways. Such as; romantic love, passionate love, sexual love, parental love, friendship love, intimate love, and even the love we can have for material objects. As Jackson states, ‘Love is not an observable emotion’, rather it is descriptive based, which has an element of language and is cultural constructed through various stages and societies. What I have come to understand from this sociologist view is that emotions are social. That emotions and bodies are constructed and shaped by the social time/ or social period and, in the culture in which we live. That to some degree there is the ability for us to think about the way we feel and change them, but there is the cultural, social element that undoubted shapes the way we feel. But most importantly, is the idea how love and intimacy that people share has changed overtime, in particular ways. A sociological view of love tends to reflect the different understands of different societies and this certainly reflects the general societal understanding of love. This can be seen in the changes in the way society was structed in the Victorian Era, from being more formalised and conservative style of love and intimacy. This was based on economic security, family status and other reasons that were understood to be most desirable, to a more modernistic style. The formal processes protected in law to keep the nuclear family together have fallen away, resulting in many things but most significant is the freedom to choose. Modern society allows the freedom to purse love and intimacy in what Giddens called the ‘pure relationship’. This is defined as being an equal and having a mutual appreciation for each other, but he also acknowledges that this freedom appears to threaten men. For Illouz however the freedom of choice has transformed love and romance in the modern period and revealed that the key issue is the changing nature of masculinity and it is now men who are have commitment phobia. This is what Illouz calls, the New Architecture of romantic choice, which argues that it ultimately disadvantages the modern women. This is something I am not sure I entirely agree on as with freedom came movement of a women's right to choose, providing them with power to make their own choices in life.

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 7 months ago

It's not the time for love. In this period of late modernity, society is full of people that are overly committed in a social environment. The abundance of information and technical advances should allow people the freedom to seek pleasures, however, people today are more committed than ever. If you can manage the ability to fit romantic love with another person in your day, or if you choose to have a relationship that will eventually comply of compassionate love, how do you allow your psyche to switch off from the process of day to day obligations, and try to get your romantic self switched on. Even if you can manage to fit romance or the ability to have another person in your life, how can you compete with the concept of promoting yourself as a product in the love game. Movies, the news, social groups and sports all promote exceptionalism as a social standard. If you do not fit the perfect image, then you are of lesser value as a person in society. This results in people constantly exhausting themselves to be the perfect person, in an already overdemanding world. I ask, are we able to open ourselves up to love? Do we have time for love? A 20 year old person looking to pursue their interests in passionate love is not as concerned about the practicalities of having to live life. Therefore, this would be more achievable to them. However, someone married or not, is so overly committed today. If they are married they have to work in order to purchase a house , or if not married would have to provide for their children in an overly commodified world. Would love fit on their list of priorities? Wouldn’t they be too exhausted trying to be their best, having to work, cook, clean, do homework with children, while trying to balance a life that is only manageable today with 2 wages. Isn't love another obligation to their juggling day. Would an overly committed woman want to put herself up for criticism against the ideal of how a woman is presented in our social world today? In this period of late modernity when people's idea of obtaining love is as commodified as shopping, why would a person even consider it. #S344UOW18 #Bbay #Tut4

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 7 months ago

Not the time for love In this period of late modernity, society is full of people that are overly committed in a social environment. With the abundance of information and technologies, people, rather than being more free seem to be overly committed. Obligations to be the best because we have the resources to do so leave an effect on our physical relationships with other people. Movies, the news, social groups and sports all promote exceptionalism as a social standard. If you do not fit the perfect image than you are of lesser value as a person in society, therefore we are constantly exhausting ourselves to do so. Therefore, are we able to open ourselves up to love, do we have time for love? A 20 year old person looking to pursue their interests in passionate love are not concerned about practicalities of having to live life therefore, this would be more achievable to them. However, someone perhaps married, perhaps not, having to work to if married to purchase a house , or if not married having to provide for their children in an overly commodified world. Therefore are they even interested in finding love? Wouldn’t they be too exhausted trying to be their best, having to work, cook, clean, do homework with children, while trying to balance a life that is only manageable today with 2 wages. To then consider love, would be to add another obligation to your juggling day. Would an overly committed woman want to put herself up for criticism against the ideal that is so strongly presented in society today. In this period of late modernity when people's idea of obtaining love is as commodified as shopping what would a person even consider it. #S344UOW18 #Bbay #Tut4

Katrina Manning said : Guest Report 7 months ago

Is “all fair” in love and sex these days? To contemplate this idea stirs up more questions than answers. The phrase “all fair” seems to imply that finding love is and always has been a game, and aren’t games meant to be fun? For individuals in society today however, it seems that the quest for love and sex has become commodified, with reality television shows, dating apps and supposed “love gurus” all cashing in on the challenges being faced by singles and couples alike. There is currently a narrative espousing the need for continuous personal growth in an effort to be our best selves. This new age desire of self-realization in turn leads to the search for our soul mate - because if we are our best selves, we deserve the best partner. But how will we know if this partner is “the one”, what if there is still someone better out there? It is this hesitation to commit, as well as the sheer abundance of choice in a sexually liberated society that Illouz (2012) cites as contributing to a generation of commitment-phobic males. It does seem the odds are currently stacked against the individual in their search for love, so do people need to re-evaluate their expectations – has the bar been raised unrealistically high? #S344UOW18 #Bbay #Tut4

Katrina Manning said : Guest Report 7 months ago

Is “all fair” in love and sex these days? To contemplate this idea stirs up more questions than answers. The phrase “all fair” seems to imply that finding love is and always has been a game, and aren’t games meant to be fun? For individuals in society today however, it seems that the quest for love and sex has become commodified, with reality television shows, dating apps and supposed “love gurus” all cashing in on the challenges being faced by singles and couples alike. There is currently a narrative espousing the need for continuous personal growth in an effort to be our best selves. This new age desire of self-realization in turn leads to the search for our soul mate - because if we are our best selves, we deserve the best partner. But how will we know if this partner is “the one”, what if there is still someone better out there? It is this hesitation to commit, as well as the sheer abundance of choice in a sexually liberated society that Illouz (2012) cites as contributing to a generation of commitment-phobic males. It does seem the odds are currently stacked against the individual in their search for love, so do people need to re-evaluate their expectations – has the bar been raised unrealistically high?

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