soc of marriage- book review #1

soc of marriage- book review #1 - Susan Martinez June 18,...

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Susan Martinez June 18, 2009 Sociology of Marriage Book Review: Talk of Love by Ann Swidler Ann Swidler, author of Talk of Love , discusses the many features of love in marriage and the changes in the concepts of love from people who have experienced divorced or have yet to marry. She talks about how culture as a whole can affect a person’s belief systems on love and relationships. Swidler takes an edgy step in the world of sociology by writing a book about the study of “love”, something that is immeasurable, undefined, and vague in every aspect. She studied a small group of white, suburban, middle-class people living in San Jose, California. By studying these eighty-eight American men and women, Ann Swidler attempted to give love a definable feature through overgeneralizing it within white-suburban America. She asked questions, such as “What is ‘real’ love?”, “How is it achieved?”, “What is required to for a good relationship?”, and many others that helped support her argument of love being a culture. Not only does Swidler say that love is influenced by cultural values and norms, such as religion, she focuses on love being a culture of its own, starting from a very early age. Swidler hopes to answer the larger questions about culture and meaning when intertwined with love by studying a particular group of Americans that come from a similar cultural setting and framework. Swidler uses chapter six to really focus on love being a culture that started centuries ago and integrates it into modern-day society. This chapter, entitled “Love and Marriage”, begins to talk about how love was viewed within marriage long ago. Swidler starts with the origins of European cultural history dating back to the middle ages, where there was either courtly traditional love or bourgeois traditional love. Courtly love was either one of two things; virtuous
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or tragic. The virtuous aspect of courtly love was portrayed in that knights would perform heroic deeds in the service of a noble lady in order to win her over. The tragic characteristic of this courtly love was that it always led to death or betrayal. For example, Romeo and Juliet, was a tragic love story in which they loved one another but could not be together because of their families, and the only way they could ever be together was in death. This traditional love had
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soc of marriage- book review #1 - Susan Martinez June 18,...

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