Cultures - relationships

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  • Created by: Natasha
  • Created on: 30-12-12 12:13

A01 Gupta and Singh

Gupta and Singh studied a 100 professional, degree educated couples living in Jaipur in India and found that in love marriages, both love and liking were high at the start, but both decreased during the course of the marriage. Conversely, whilst love and liking were much lower at the start of an arranged marriage, this grew and in fact exceeded that in love marriages after 10 years. 

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A02 Cultural bias, rubin liking scales

This study presents a cultural bias as Rubin's liking and loving scales, devised in a US were used. Such tools will reflect the norms and beliefs of the US and may assess indicators of satisfaction in relationships in the US, but not other cultures. This may compromise the validity of such research, making it difficult to draw conclusions about how arranged marriages affect relationship satisfaction .

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A02 Xiaohne + Whyne

Xioahe and Whyte (1990) carried out a study in the People's Republic of China, a rapidly modernising country, which indicated that women in love marriages were much more satisfied than those in arranged marriages.

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A02 Urbanisation, greater mobility

Much research has been conducted in Western cultures, in which relationships are voluntary. With predominantly urban settings, and relatively easy geographical and social mobiliity, individuals voluntarily interact with many people and have the opportunity to meet new acquintances. Individuals therefore have a greater pool of potential partners. In non-western cultures, which are less urban, geographical and social mobilitiy are restricted and individuals have a smaller pool of people to interact with and are less likely to meet new acquinatances. Equally, family involvement and arranged marriages are more common in such cultures, meaning that choice may be restricted and relaitonships are non-voluntary. 

(trade off)

The non-western shift to less permanent relationships is still fairly recent, only significantly increasing in the last 50 years. It is possible that this is due to urbanisation and greater mobiliity. This would suggest that rather than relationships being influenced by whether individuals live in individualist or collectivist societies and western or non western societies, they may be influenced by urbanisation. 

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A02 Myers

Myers, Madathil and Tingle (2005) compared 45 couples in arranged marriages in India with 45 couples in US love marriages. They found no difference in overall happiness and satisfaction betwen the two types, suggesting arranged marriages remain as happy, despite social change. 

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A02 Nature,nurture

Jankowiak and Fishcer (1992) found clear evidence of romantic love in 90% of 166 non-western tribal cultures studied. Bartles and Zeki (2000) who claim to have discovered a 'functionally specialised system that lights up during fMRI scans of brains of people who claim to be in love. 

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A01 dissolution

Non-western cultures are likely to be dominated by relationships which are permanent as continuity is emphasied. Conversely, western cultures emphasise change and continuity and therefore tempoary relationships are more evident than in non-western cultures. Hsu (1953) illustrates this distinction, reporting that in China, ancestry and hertitage is important, whilst continuity is viewed with suspicion. On the other hand, American culture emphasises progress and change is viewed as not only inevitable, but also important. Divorce and dissolution of relationships is becoming increaseingly common in Western societies, with approximately 40% of all marriages ending in divorce. In most western societies, unhappiness with the partner is seen as a justifiable reason to end the relationship and seek happiness with someone else. Traditionally, collectivist cultures have shown a very different pattern, with few ending in divorce. In china, the divorce rate was just under 4% until fairly recently and in India, this figure is around 1.1%.

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A02 Goodwin

Goodwin (1999) found that in China, marriage is seen as a 'socially serious event' which is not to be undertaken lightly. Indeed, ending a marriage through divorce can have severe consequences for a couple and for their childern and can lead to facing rejection by relatives. This supports the idea that divorce is less common in collectivst cultures and that social acceptabiliity is one barrier to relationship dissolution. 

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A02 Whyte

Whyte (1990) found that divorce rates are now higher in arranged marriages than those who divorced for love. Moreover, Japan as also seen a recent increase in divorce rates to around 30% of marriages, which may be explained by increased female employment, enabling women to live independently (McKenry and Price, 1995). This suggests that the prevalence of divorce rates is becoming less differentiated between Western and Non-westen socities, dye to the westernisatin and social change evident in non-western cultures. 

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A02 Ethic constructs, reduce ethnocentrism

Additionally, culture bias is also evident when etic constructs (culturally-specific constructs) are assumed to be emic constructs (univeral constructs). It may be the case that equity is unimportant in collectivst cultures, whereas researchers may assumes this to be a cause of dissatification. Therefore it is difficult to draw conclusions when researchers are not part of the culture being studied as there is a tendency to assume the behaviours evident in our own cultures are 'right'. Instead it may be better for research to be carried out by people belonging to a particular culture, to reduce ethnocentrism. 

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A02 Differences attraction

Anderson et al (1992) reported a study in which body shape preferneces were examined in 54 countries. A heavier female body was found in 71% of the countries where food was scarce with minimial preference for a slender shape, whereas 60% of countries with a very reliably food supply preferred a slender or moderate body in women. 

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A02 Buss

Buss (1989) in all 57 countries surveyed, men desired a female partner who was younger and in almost all cultures, women placed more emphasis on the wealth ans resources of male partners. 

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