SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Mon 14.30pm

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 #Mon1430

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

16 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut4 – Mon 14.30pm

Ka Chun Kevin Ho said : Guest Report 2 months ago

The question “Has love changed? Is ‘all fair’ in love and sex these days?” is quite an interesting topic to be discussed. In the contemporary world, the word “fair” is always been used regarding equality of human rights, job opportunity or liberty. In the reality, whoever believe there are fair love relationship or sex relationship are stupid. In my perspective, there is never a fair thing in love. In terms of relationship between both genders, men do aspire more sexual needs than women in relation to sex and excitement. However, women care more about in mental, emotional and marriage. Since Jackson., S. claimed that love can hold the promise of power – of ensnaring another – and says it is sometimes the only power that otherwise powerless women have over men. In response to Jackson’s claim, both of two genders required love to hold the promise of power but women tend to be needing love way more and it could be the motivation for women as well. In other words, “all fair’ in love and sex is not going to happen. Finally, I do think love has not been changed. It is absolutely the key for maintaining a passionate relationship and it does make the relationship stronger and healthier. #S344UOW18 #Week4 #Mon1430

Amy Calladine said : Guest Report 5 months ago

I think our views on love have changed a lot in recent times. The traditional courtship scripts or “codes” as Wouters describes them no longer apply. Greater gender equality has afforded women much financial and sexual freedom, (Illouz 2012, p.61), but as we become more autonomous, men can no longer just blindly pursue women like passion-fuelled animals on the hunt, so to speak. Women are no longer the docile gatekeepers of emotional and physical reciprocity, but can and do instigate romantic and sexual forays. And though the pill has given women more sexual choice, (Wouters p. 191), we are still limited socially compared to men: “slut shamed” if our “tally” is anything more than a modest count. And men can no longer rely on traditional expressions of power like sexual virility and financial prowess to “win over” women as they once might have in the past, (Illouz 2012, p. 62). So both men and women are unsure how to navigate new gendered power dynamics; caught between old and new worlds, second-guessing how to act at every stage. This creates frustration and insecurity. Add to the mix modern dating culture and the perceived abundance of options to choose from on dating apps, and resolve to understand each other is all but swiped away. There is no longer the pressing urgency to commit as there once was, (Illouz), but the longing for a “pure” expression of intimacy nonetheless remains.

Bryant Mitchell said : Guest Report 5 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

Bryant Mitchell said : Guest Report 5 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

Liam Marsh said : Guest Report 5 months ago

I think that love has definitely changed over time. People's definitions of love have changed and so have the ways in which we show love. "Love knows no boundaries" is a quote we often here, in the age of technology that we live in, this quote is more true than ever now. In the victorian era love would have had some kind of geographical boundaries, now with the instantaneous connections we have due to technology, we can contact those whom we love on the other side of the world. It is also interesting how love is shown to us through media and popular culture. An example would be that some people still often look at books that Jane Austen wrote, or Victorian era inspired TV shows/movies and think how romantic those stories are and fantasise about these stories becoming there own. However we are often chasing the more popular portrayals of love that are seen in todays tv shows that often show love as being casual sex and open relationships. I guess these are displays of the way in which the world has embraced the concept of plastic sexuality. We can definitely conclude that love is a forever changing social construction, however it is also a constant biological construction.

Georgia Higgins said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Do I think love has changed? Absolutely I do. I personally believe that love is ever changing, just as society is. As Stevie Jackson states, “love is not an observable emotion, it is descriptive based” and this is seen prevalent between the two separate types of love – passionate and companionate. If love is seen best through our language (descriptive based) and language within society is ever changing it is clear to understand that love, just like society takes time and history to evolve. My great grandfather was seen as a ‘womanizer’ of his days, forever with a different partner, often abandoning his responsibilities as a father to my grandmother and her siblings. My great grandfather’s activity increased his sexuality status amongst his male friends – something that was praised upon within his time. Within today’s society, having multiple partners within a short amount of time is not seen to as ‘masculine’ or an appropriate way to show that you can be ‘loved’ by giving love as it used to be. It is viewed as unromantic and purely sexual. So yes, I do believe love has changed, I believe it has evolved along side society and its members and this can be accurately represented through the evolution of masculinity. I believe that love will continue to change, as do we. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1430

Dylan Le said : Guest Report 5 months ago

The concept of love is usually socially and culturally constructed and through times, the concept change in accordance to the changing nature of the society. It can be obviously seen through the development of the society that the idea of skinship, desire, sexual thoughts are more accepted the more advanced society becomes. Then again, lust, jealousy and longing for attention are all different forms of love (Brown 2012). It can be said that it is the conduct of love that is different compare to, say in Victorian Era, where love was ‘displayed’ in a more conservative and stricter way (rules of courtship). With the development in social transformation activity such as legalizing same-sex marriage as well as the growth of feminism, the expression of love has changed drastically, more physical and more tolerable. However, we should always take culture and tradition into consideration before jumping to conclusion. For example, Eastern feminism is usually tied to social status and income rather than the liberating the body. In conclusion, my personal take on this topic is that the feelings of love hasn’t changed but there certainly has been more variations of social display of affection, generally, more liberated and free.

Niamh Carroll said : Guest Report 5 months ago

What do you think? Has love changed? Is ‘all fair’ in love and sex these days? In my opinion, love in late modernity is very different to love in previous places in history. Love has changed for the most part in the way we not only express love, but also what is considered acceptable expressions of love in society has changed. The idea of love is socially and biologically constructed, it is a complex concept (Jenkins 2017). How the expression of love is portrayed depends on the social environments. In our western society, love is ‘all fair’ in comparison to the past. Men and women are less likely to abstain from sex until marriage like it was expected when Christianity was a dominant religion and also, women are now more likely to express their love for another rather than in the past, where it was deemed more attractive to be dismissive of affection and act as though it was unwanted. Also - with the acceptance in homosexual relationships growing, especially now with Gay Marriage being acceptable in most western countries, I believe that all is the most fair it has been in relation to love and sex, than it ever has been

claire teale said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Yes, I do believe that love has changed, but more in regards to how society has shaped their understanding OF love. The key complex emotions that were tied with the concept of love 100 years ago are still alive and well in today’s society still are today. Just as Stevi Jackson states that love is an observable emotion, I have often talked to my 98 year old grandmother about her relationship with my grandfather. Every night, after preparing dinner, she would apply a fresh coat of lipstick on before her husband came back from work. My mother has also expressed that for my grandmother, her husbands needs came first, kids second. That was one way of my grandmother demonstrating her love towards my grandfather, and in today’s society this would seem like a very old fashioned and almost sexist way of living. Emotions such as jealously or even loyalty are still present in today’s society, but I believe that the way in which we express those emotions have changed drastically over time.#S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1430

Matt Rootes said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Love definitely has changed. With love comes intimacy and to link in one of this week’s essential readings, Illouz (2012) discusses sexual freedom while comparing the past to the present. Today’s society has used “Pornification” to push the boundaries of moral regulation, which accept sexual desires and fantasies. Women today are celebrated for their expressing their love through their sexuality. However, in the past it was considered appealing to act reserved and deny their romantic emotions and sexual desires. Throughout the Christian centuries, abstinence was heavily imposed on both genders. However, women were understood to have greater sexual desires compared to men. This is because of a Christian teaching; The story of Adam and Eve. “If anything, the daughters of Eve were considered prone to excess of passion [than men] because of their rational control was seen as weaker” (Illouz 2012, p61). This shows a very obvious contrast between the past and present perceptions of women and their sexuality. Today’s society accepts that women should be in control of what they need and want in a relationship based on personal preferences. To conclude, sex has become a major factor in love these days, which is it was important to mention. It is one example of many that show how love has changed. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1430

Matt Rootes said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Love definitely has changed. With love comes intimacy and to link in one of this week’s essential readings, Illouz (2012) discusses sexual freedom while comparing the past to the present. Today’s society has used “Pornification” to push the boundaries of moral regulation, which accept sexual desires and fantasies. Women today are celebrated for their expressing their love through their sexuality. However, in the past it was considered appealing to act reserved and deny their romantic emotions and sexual desires. Throughout the Christian centuries, abstinence was heavily imposed on both genders. However, women were understood to have greater sexual desires compared to men. This is because of a Christian teaching; The story of Adam and Eve. “If anything, the daughters of Eve were considered prone to excess of passion [than men] because of their rational control was seen as weaker” (Illouz 2012, p61). This shows a very obvious contrast between the past and present perceptions of women and their sexuality. Today’s society accepts that women should be in control of what they need and want in a relationship based on personal preferences. To conclude, sex has become a major factor in love these days, which is it was important to mention. It is one example of many that show how love has changed. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1430

Matt Rootes said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Love definitely has changed. With love comes intimacy and to link in one of this week’s essential readings, Illouz (2012) discusses sexual freedom while comparing the past to the present. Today’s society has used “Pornification” to push the boundaries of moral regulation, which accept sexual desires and fantasies. Women today are celebrated for their expressing their love through their sexuality. However, in the past it was considered appealing to act reserved and deny their romantic emotions and sexual desires. Throughout the Christian centuries, abstinence was heavily imposed on both genders. However, women were understood to have greater sexual desires compared to men. This is because of a Christian teaching; The story of Adam and Eve. “If anything, the daughters of Eve were considered prone to excess of passion [than men] because of their rational control was seen as weaker” (Illouz 2012, p61). This shows a very obvious contrast between the past and present perceptions of women and their sexuality. Today’s society accepts that women should be in control of what they need and want in a relationship based on personal preferences. To conclude, sex has become a major factor in love these days, which is it was important to mention. It is one example of many that show how love has changed.

Rebecca said : Guest Report 5 months ago

We construct our relationships with others in order to validate our own sense of intimacy and identity. Giddens (1992) believes in a post traditional society in which the tradition that was once dominant in an individual’s life is no longer prominent. Actions are no longer examined and considered through the lens of customs and beliefs. It is this reflexive process that takes on the role of ethical management and thus there is a focus on the construction on self-identity as we as individuals have an “internal conversation”, a comparison of the internal self and its representation as the “me” against the generalised other. In other words, we cannot experience our individuality within our own consciousness but rather we experience our sense of identity through comparison to others and the wider society. One of the most predominant arenas for reflexivity is within intimate relationships and the shift in focus to the “pure relationship,” an opening out to each other to sustain trust and mutuality between a couple. In the striving for a pure relationship founded upon plastic sexuality couples become performers, performing their relationship for the generalised other, society. They construct their reality through the process of internalisation and develop their individual and partnered identity. Pressures from the external forces of society can either deconstruct the relationship and individualised identity or it can force the couple to seek validation elsewhere and to further develop their identity in exercises of agency, thus allowing for the gradual change of structures which may eventuate in the recognition of a couple’s relationship and identity. #S344UOW18 #Tut4 #Mon1430

Ursula Jones said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Yes, I believe views around love and the experience of love has changed over time. I believe that with increased gender equality there is an equal power between each partner in a relationship. Woman are now able to have control over their relationship and this is shown in the increase of divorce rates and single mother families. Woman today are also less likely to forgive betrayal, to tolerate excessive possessiveness, physical abuse and are less likely to sacrifice for the sake of the marriage (Clanton, 2006). Both men and woman are able to live independent lives and experience freedom of their own decisions. With changes surrounding birth control, abortion, sex education, structures of families and homosexuality there have been significant changes in love and sex (Clanton, 2006). No longer are people waiting until marriage to be intimate or have the expectation to marry young. Now people are waiting later in lives to be married and as a result love and intimate relationships have changed.

Ursula Jones said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Yes, I believe views around love and the experience of love has changed over time. I believe that with increased gender equality there is an equal power between each partner in a relationship. Woman are now able to have control over their relationship and this is shown in the increase of divorce rates and single mother families. Woman today are also less likely to forgive betrayal, to tolerate excessive possessiveness, physical abuse and are less likely to sacrifice for the sake of the marriage (Clanton, 2006). Both men and woman are able to live independent lives and experience freedom of their own decisions. With changes surrounding birth control, abortion, sex education, structures of families and homosexuality there have been significant changes in love and sex (Clanton, 2006). No longer are people waiting until marriage to be intimate or have the expectation to marry young. Now people are waiting later in lives to be married and as a result love and intimate relationships have changed.

Chelsea Swan said : Guest Report 5 months ago

The idea of love is socially and biologically constructed, it is a complex concept (Jenkins 2017). However, attachment, envy, desire and lust are all feelings that coincide with love (Brown 2012), and this has not changed throughout history. For example, the Book of Rites, which was a Chinese first century encyclopaedia, love is included as one of the seven basic emotions (Burton 2016). However, the way love is expressed has changed throughout time. Giddens (1991), introduces the idea of ‘plastic sexuality’, where heterosexuality is no longer the only option; for example, same- sex marriage is now socially accepted in many countries and is expressed through events such as Mardi Gras. Whereas, during the Victorian era, love was quite conservative. North and South is a television show set in the Victorian era, where PDA is often not shown and marriage is a common theme. In comparison, Skins is a recent television show, where teen lust, love, and PDA is the norm. I believe Skins accurately represents western society today. However, this is not the case for all cultures. Moreover, Illouz introduces the concept of commitment phobia. She believes that men are afraid to commit and sleep around to gain status (Patulny 2018). To an extent, I agree with this idea. However, I think it is unfair and very stereotypical to place the one gender into this idea. Overall, I believe that the concept of love has changed and will forever be changing as will the gendered inequalities/stereotypes that come with it.

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