Cultural differences in relationships

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Relationships in different cultures
A01 Studies A02/3
Voluntary & non-voluntary relationships Voluntary & non-voluntary relationships evaluation Voluntary & non-voluntary relationships evaluation
Western-culture: urban settings, easy Non-voluntary or arranged marriages make good sense & seem Gender bias ­ some studies such as the Xiaohe & Whyte
geographical & social mobility. Interact with to work well ­ divorce rates are low ­ partners state they've only focus on women, therefore they can't generalise
large amount of people ­ high degree in choice `fallen in love' (Epstein, 2002) these towards male opinions.
in personal relationships and larger group of Myers et al (2005) ­ studies partners of arrange marriages in
Some people live in Western-cultures, but still their
potential partners. India ­ NO DIFFERENCE in marital satisfaction ­ compared with
families choose their potential partners.
Non-western cultures: less large cities, less non-arranged marriages in US.
geographical and social mobility ­ less choice of Xiaohe & Whyte (1990) ­ Studied women in China ­ women
who people will interact with. Relationships are who married for love felt more satisfaction in their marriage,
usually ties to factors such as family or economic then those in arranged marriages.
resources.
Individual or group-based relationships Individual or group-based relationships evaluation
Individualistic: place importance on the We expect relationships based on love to produce more
individual rather than a group, their happiness compatible partners ­ not always the case. Young people may
and pleasure. be `blinded by love'.
Collectivist: the whole group is the basis of Xiaohe & Whyte's ­ freedom of mate choice appeared to
concern ­ members are encourages being promote marital stability rather than instability.
interdependent.
Moghaddam et al (1993) ­ believed that
Western-cultures tend to have relationships
that are individualistic, voluntary and
temporary, whilst non-western cultures tend to
have relationships that are collectivist,
involuntary & permanent.
Continuity & discontinuity Continuity & discontinuity evaluation
Hsu (1953) ­ compared Chinese and North Marks a shift within Western society which may again be related
American societies. Chinese regard heritage greater urbanisation and mobility, indicating that the significant
and ancestry ­ change in generally viewed. cleavage may not be Western/ non-Western or individualistic/
American culture ­ emphasises on progress ­ collectivists but Urban/ non-urban.
change seen as inevitable & important.
James Nolan

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Relationships in different cultures
Non-Western cultures ­ emphasise continuity
d therefore likely to be dominated by
permanent relationships.
Western cultures ­ emphasise change and
discontinuity, and therefore tend to favour
more temporary relationships.…read more

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Relationships in different cultures
· Long distance relationships · Marriage
· Availability of love In the West the dominant style is monogamy
· Romantic love In Non-Western Tibet for example a women may marry two or
more brothers (Polyandry)
· Temporary relationships
· Increased divorce rates
Non-Western Cultures
· Empathising the group notion
· More long term kinship
· Polygamous
· Stationary lifestyles
· Less long distance communication
· Less availability
· Family importance is a social norm
· Rules are adhered to, allows for…read more

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