INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

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CULTURE ON R.R

We tend view the whole relationship process from the perspective of our own culture --> H/W not all cultures the same.. expect differences--> Psychologists discovered diff. b/twn Western cultures & Non-Wstrn (india,china)

Distinguishing feature of Wstrn: live in urban settings w/easy geographical & social mobility --> high degreee of choice.. greater 'field of availables' --> Non-wstrn = less urban, more rural therefore less choice about who they interact with -->Wstrn cultures = great deal of importance on rights & freedoms (HRA 1998) w/indivuidual happiness fundamentallly important --> cultural attitudes of INDIVIDUALIST cultures consistent w/formation of R.R that based freedom of choice--> COLLECTIVIST cultures = more interdependent & R.R based on concerns of family/group (Moghaddam)

H/W evidence to suggest voluntary relationships (Wstrn) not necessarily better than 'non-voluntary'/arranged marriages.. reduced mobility societies arranged marriages work well & economic sense --> Divorce rates low & 50% spouses fallen in love (EPSTEIN) --> subject to beta-bias NOT differentiated b/twn hubby & wifey - women talk about emotions > than men --> Epstein supported by MYERS: indian marriages no diff. level of satisfaction when compared...

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CULTURE II

..to USA--> H/W culture bias.. diff. cultures (e.g. Indian lack of liberalism) may nurtured to accept roles less likely to find faults in marriage -->Furthermore, Myers study reductionist .. 'satisfaction' not only thing that matters .. other factors: parental investment, financial gain/loss (S.E theory)

Whyte & Xiaohe CONTRADICT Myers & Epstein --> They found in rapidly developing cultures (China) increase 'love matches' --> Women in 'love matches' happier than women in arranged marriages --> H/W concept of 'love' Americanised ideal (St. Val) no universal meaning... imposed etic: research into Eastern cultures subject to wstrn concepts.

ERIKSON: establishment of intimate relationship young adulthood.. if unsucessful = social isolation --> LIMITED by MADSEN: too many relationships=negative effect adult relationships

LEVINE investigated love as basis for marriage in 11 countries. Respondents asked whether they would marry some1 didnt love but 'marryable' qualities--> 14% USA would --> figures high collectivist cultures: India 24% & Thai 34% --> Suggests 'poorer' cultures extended family important..romantic 'love' luxury--> cant see relationships in 2 diff. cultures as meaning the same thing

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culture III

SEEPERSAD: Wstrn young people greater sense of loneliness than non-wstrn b/c greater desire to seek R.R --> tested 'loneliness hypothesis': out of 227 US & Korean, US more loneliness --> SUPPORTED by the fact Wstrn cultures sensationalise the idea of relationships --> Media: 'Take me out' etc. --> further SUPPORT: JONSON analysed 40 top films b/twn 1995-2005..fans of films 'How to lose a guy in 10 days' had views reflected themes in film.

PINKER: romantic love 'human universal' evolved to promote survival reprod. --> SUPPORTED by BUSS = love chemical trip designed to further procreation, passing on of genes --> Romantic love not exclusive to Wstrn cultures FISHER romantic love in non-wstrn tribal societies ..evidence of romantic love in 90% of 166 cultures studied--> further SUPPORT discovery of 'functionally specialised system' lights up during fMRI scans when talking about love

Issues with interpretation of the aims of any research & the understanding of exactly what is being done limits validity--> E.g. measuring 'love' or 'relationship satisfaction' in other cultures but using Wstrn definitions of these terms --> Some psychologists argue for a development of indigneous Psychologies designed for specific cultures .. reduces imposed etics & results useful in the culture being studied

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