SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Mon 16.30pm

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 #Mon1630

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

8 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Mon 16.30pm

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 11 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

Bryant Mitchell said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Love can be defined in many ways and yes, of course love has changed throughout the past hundreds of year. It used to be that love was organized and frequently forced upon people. It used to be that the purpose of life was to get married and have family. This being in the 1950's and 1960's. However, when people are asked today they will more often than not say that getting married with a family should not be someones main goal in life. It used to be that a woman needed a husband so they would have a steady income in their household but as we all know that is not the case anymore. Therefore, marriage is not such a necessity nowadays. As for passionate love in definitely helps in a relationship. It creates a stronger and healthier bond with whoever your partner may be. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut4 said : Guest Report 11 months ago

In the contemporary world, love is still a part of ‘the dream;’ however, women now have the freedom to expand their dreams beyond the gates of love. Women are now accepted to aspire for careers, hobbies, and more to their lives outside of child rearing and love. Therefore, women no longer have to depend on men for their financial support, in turn making commitment to a man less appealing. Furthermore, class is not as much of an issue. Today, if a daughter to a wealthy family brought home a boy from a family on welfare it would not be a scandal and she would not be shamed how she would’ve been in the Victorian era, again showing that change. Although still an ongoing issue to break stigma, same-sex marriage is now legal in Westernized countries like Australia and the United States, and the phrase ‘love is love’ is now more commonly accepted. So love still exists, but less ‘plastic.’ I believe that with less boundaries people can be happier. Without the boundaries that were in the rules of courtship, more people can enjoy the passionate, romantic love and have a ‘pure relationship.’ References: Jamieson, L 1999, 'Intimacy transformed? A critical look at the ‘pure relationship.'' Sociology, 33(3), pp.477- 494 || Illouz, E 2012, 'Commitment-phobia and the New Architecture of Romantic Choice', Chapter 3 in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation, Polity, Cambridge, pp.59-108 || Patulny, R 2018, 'Love and intimacy in late modernity', SOC344, University of Wollongong. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut4

Stella Crick said : Guest Report 11 months ago

‘Passionate love’ is culturally constructed and has evolved throughout time (Patulny, 2018). Victorian era rules of courtship ensured strict attitudes towards love subsisted (Hughes, 2008). Women were expected to resist sexual temptation, waiting for men to offer their love (Illouz, p63). However, intimacy transformed with late modernity to how we know it today. We seek ‘pure relationships’ whereby equality exists (Jamieson, p477). We’re also more ‘plastic’ in sexuality, seeking love in diverse forms e.g. homosexuality (Jamieson, p478). Although women have gained more power in love, men are still usually favoured in a position to approach women. Interestingly, contemporary women have power in deciding whether to reply or not through technology’s mediums. Yet men are still expected to propose. I believe women have come a long way in terms of equality in relationships, and expect fairness in relationships, though in some aspects I know gender inequalities still exist. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1630 References: Hughes, K 2008, ‘The secret love lives of the Victorians’, The Guardian UK, accessed 20/03/2018, Illouz, E 2012, 'Commitment phobia and the new architecture of romantic choice', in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation, Polity, Cambridge, p63. Jamieson, L 1999, ‘Intimacy Transformed? A Critical Look at the `Pure Relationship', in Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 3, British Sociology Association, Sage Publications, pp477-478. Patulny, R 2018, Love and intimacy in late modernity, SOC344 Emotions, Bodies & Society Lecture, University of Wollongong, delivered 19/03/2018.

Amit Anand said : Guest Report 11 months ago

I think love has many shapes and forms in today s society and I believe both love and intimacy not only contain complex forms, emotions and mental states but also culturally constructed in multicultural societies with different social processes, forces and meaning. Love can be both compassionate and passionate for anyone we have feelings for be it family, friends or partner. for example, inciting men have become more emotionally expressive, more considerate lovers, communicative partners and sensitive fathers. The reading by Lynn Jamieson clearly explains the changing dynamics of love, relationships and how the social change took place in the late 20th century whereby more responsive forms of sexuality and gender identities were formed and contributed to the changing norms of life, love, intimacy and relationships in society . for example in today’ s modern society gay and same sex marriages have now become legal. However, I still think that the presence of uneven transition of inequalities is only found in untransformed relationships of love, intimacy and emotions in bodies. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1630

Britt Pike said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Love is something that (in my opinion) is still heavily structured and in some way constrained by our social world. While relationships between men and women have become more open and less subjected to moral and ethical constraints since the 18th Century (Illouz 2012), there is evidence that those in long-term committed relationships are still somewhat tied to traditional gender roles and unequal distribution of domestic labour, like household chores and child-caring (Jamieson 1999). The Illouz reading points out that this gender inequality has also shaped the ways in which men and women think, feel and approach relationships with the opposite sex. The added freedom of women and the reduction of masculine power from both the public and private spheres after the 1970s (whilst notably causing significant changes in marriage, divorce and birth rates), has not totally removed the effects of gender inequality from heterosexual relationships, with men now turning to casual sex and emotional detachment as means of retaining power over women and other men. (Illouz 2012). Though to say that emotions like love are wholly dictated by social institutions would be misguided. The very existence of same-sex couples in a world that (until recently) pushed heteronormativity as the only “true” form of relationship is evidence itself. In the lecture is was said that love is a “descriptive emotion” and often our way of describing it (particularly “passionate love” (Patulny 2018) which is characterised by its intensity of a range of emotions) is through the experience of the body, for example, when our heart “flutters” or “races”. References: Jamieson, L 1999, 'Intimacy transformed? A critical look at the ‘pure relationship.'' Sociology, 33(3), pp.477- 494 || Illouz, E 2012, 'Commitment-phobia and the New Architecture of Romantic Choice', Chapter 3 in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation, Polity, Cambridge, pp.59-108 || Patulny, R 2018, 'Love and intimacy in late modernity', SOC344, University of Wollongong. Viewed 03/21/2018.

Jessica Baguley said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Love is not an emotion we can see. It is purely the figment of the cultures in which we are raised (Patulny 2018). Despite this, love is perhaps one of the most prized emotions. Passionate love, as Hatfield describes it, in particular, is the goal of most modern individuals in the pursuit of a life partner (Patulny 2018). There was a time however where this was not the case. In the Victorian age, love was a mere bonus when marrying. Life-long companionship was not based on deep emotions, it was based on economic security, family prestige and other factors that were seen to be desirable. Freedom, the cornerstone of modernity, has changed love from a secondary bonus into a goal. For Giddens’ this freedom has allowed for us to pursue more ‘pure relationships’ that are defined by equality and mutual appreciation whereas others, such as Ilouz, believe that this freedom has transformed the nature of romance and revealed emotional and sexual inequalities that disadvantage the modern women (Ilouz, E 2012), (Jamieson, L 1999). I personally tend towards Giddens’ concept much more than Ilouz. I find that Ilouz presents a very emotionally uninvolved and biologically determinist perspective whereas Giddens’ account, while problematic in its own ways, accounts for emotional evolution amongst both sexes and presents a more realistic understanding of how modern love has changed. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut4 References: Ilouz, E 2012, ‘Commitment phobia and the New Architect of Romantic Choice’, Why Love Hurts. Chapter 3, Jamieson, L 1999, ‘Intimacy Transformed? A Critical Look and the Pure Relationship’, Sociology, 33 (3), pp.477-494 Patulny, R (2018), Week 4 Lecture, SOC344, University of Wollongong

Katy Halverson said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Whereas in “olden days” young people were pressured to find a mate for social and financial reasons, today’s young people find they can place their focus on other things, such as finances, career building, independence, travel, etc. Romance is not the only priority in most people’s minds, and with the culture of sexuality being much freer than it once was it’s easy for adults to reap sexual benefits without the burden of commitment. Eva Illouz points out in her article on “commitment-phobia” that this excess of choice comes with its own emotional burden, causing a new kind of sexual inequality. I take some issue with this perspective as it paints intimacy as a very distant and calculated process, rather than primarily guided by emotions and attraction as I believe it often is. It also reduces male promiscuity to a means of attaining power without addressing some other possible motivations, as discussed in the lecture (Patulny, 2018). Certainly love has changed in modern times, just as many other facets of the human experience have also changed. I think the way we express affection and intimacy evolves as the needs and values of our society change, and ultimately reflects the state of society as a whole. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut4 Reference: Jamieson, L (1999) “Intimacy transformed? A critical look at the ‘pure relationship.’” Sociology 33(3) 477- 494. Illouz, E (2012) “Commitment-phobia and the New Architecture of Romantic Choice,” Chapter 3 in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation. Polity, Cambridge, pp 59-108. Patulny, R (2018) “Love and intimacy in late modernity,” SOC344, University of Wollongong. Viewed 03/21/2018.

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