Cultural and Subcultural differences in relationships

Everything you need to know for the AQA psych A2 exam for the differences in cultural and subcultural section.

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Cultural and Subcultural differences in relationships
Explanations and research studies on the differences in relationships between western cultures and
nonwestern cultures
Permanent and Impermanent relationships
Voluntary and involuntary relationships
Monogamous and polygamous relationships
Goode (1959) since love could disrupt lineage and class, it must be controlled collectivist marriages are
Lee + Stone (1980) 117 societies: 89% of societies with choice of mate scored high on love scale compared
with 20% of societies with arranged marriages.
Medora et al. compared romanticism scores between American, Indian and Turkish subjects. US highest Indian
Europe had higher romantic scores than US, US higher than Japan.
Depression might follow in realisation that collectivist societies have less chance of Hollywoodised love.
Epstein (2002) some arranged married partners fall in love.
Collins + Coltrane ­ dating agencies show involuntary rels can be more successful than voluntary ones 50% of
US citizens married for other reasons than love.
Adar found kibbutz families can involve only 1 or 2 parents instead of the whole community.
Divorce rates amongst British women in 1960 were 2 per 1000 and rose to 12 per 1000 in 1988.
Attitudes on `romantic love' have been heavily influenced by Hollywood ­ unrealistic.
Harris (1995) 42 hunter/ gatherer societies (collectivist) & found evidence of romantic love in 26 of these cultures.
Only 6 had complete freedom in choice of marriage with parents having rights of veto.
Buss (1989) 37 cultures globally: men preferred younger women & women preferred older men in all countries
except Spain.
Simpson et al (1986) temporal study. Would you marry a person you weren't in love with if they had all the
qualities you desired? 1967: (M:60% F:20%) 1976 (M: 80% F: 80%) 1984: slight increase, equal.
Betzig (1996) reason for divorce across 160 countries: infidelity sterility cruelty. 4% divorce rate in China
4050% in western societies.
BrodbarNemzer (1986) Jewish families in NYC ­ some traditional, close family ties others more representative
of individualistic society = lower martial stability.
Nigeria has increased divorce rates following rapid industrialisation/ urbanisation/ female education increases.
Cultures and relationships
Moghaddam et al (1993) found social relationships in western societies are Individualistic, voluntary and
temporary nonwestern cultures tend to be collectivist, obligatory and permanent.
Much research is based on relationships between young, white North American heterosexual college kids
Much of the research is not applicable or relevant to nonwestern cultures, because we cannot find out
something universal on this sample
Theories and research on relationships will be affected by the culture the psychologist are socialised in
imposed etic problems with the research.
Subculture trends within the UK's class structure
Friendships tend to be more important to middleclasses, kin networks to workingclasses
Middleclass marriages are more symmetrical ­ more shared friends, leisure and decision making
Middleclass families are more childcentred and democratic in childrearing working class families are more
authoritarian, with the father less involved.


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