Discuss the nature of relationships in other cultures (25 marks)
There are 2 different sections that we can divide the worlds cultures into: Western, and non-Western.
Western cultures have a different way of engaging in relationships to non-Western cultures. Those in the West tend to be individualistic, voluntary and temporary. This means that the relationships themselves are separate from the rest of the community, that the people in the relationship choose to engage in the relationship themselves, and also have the freedom to choose their own partners, and are relatively shorter lasting than non-Western relationships. Marriage is monogamous in the West- because of this there is greater availability, as well as individual choice, and the notion of romantic love is more important in Western culture than in non-Western. Divorce rates are higher in the west than in the non-West, because Western cultures are focused on progression and development, whereas in non-Western cultures they believe in upholding traditional values.
Moghaddam (1998) conducted a study on stories and songs from 166 societies around the world, and found that westernised romantic love was recognised in 85% of them. This study has good cultural validity as it has been conducted in many cultures, which means that results can be generalised without resulting in imposed etic.
A contradictory study conducted by Collins and Coltrane (1995) suggested that nearly 50% of americans marry for reasons other than love, for example financial security, family pressure, and to have children. This suggests that Western cultures might not…