Love and Relationships: Sociology of Love

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Taking into consideration love to be sociological sounds heretical, in most cases, people say love is something that is felt naturally, could heartfelt emotions possibly be sociological? Max Weber views that love promises to be a means of sensual salvation in an increasingly rationalized social world based on impersonal formal relationships (Mihai, 2018). Love to different people means different things depending on the context, the range of answers to what love is would be too extensive to imagine. Moreover, between all the ranges of answers, would be similarities as to defining love, in some cases, it means having deep affection towards someone or something. This essay discusses the sociology of love from the article conducted by Gabb and Fink in which they use multiple research methods to measure relationships behaviors and personal lives. Gabb and Fink provided a detailed description of how the couples adapt their relationships, including the emotions invested in their relationships with each couple dealing with their love and relationships in their different ways. According to Gabb and Fink (2015) Relationships is filled with pragmatics and emotions, choices and lack of choice, contentment and disenchantment and all the spectrum feelings and experience that comes between it.

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Relationship and love are not been created at an instance but has been passed from generations. Several sociological perspective affects love and relationships such as cultural and socio cultural factors. Typically, love relationship practice, the woman shows love, care and affection to the husband while the husband earns money to keep the family running.

From the study of Gabb and Fink (2015) this gendered norm is portrayed from Sumaira’s diary extract, whilst the husband plays his role to work and earns money for the upkeep of the family the woman offers affection and to the husband. Looking into Sumaira’s diary, she’s seen as the housekeeper to show her partner who is the provider love and affection with hugs and chats on the partner return from work. This view can be complicated since relationships are becoming equal and the main source of income of the home is no longer the male partner. Marxism theory originated by Karl Marx, wrote that the power relationships between capitalists and workers were inherently exploitative and would inevitably create class conflict, it focuses on the domination of women by men. The world today is becoming industrialized, women reaching higher class of work and no longer needs a male partner to provide their basic needs. This theory sees women to be more prepared to end a relationship and love connections if they feel the relationship is not working or heading towards a happy ending. The feminist theory on the other hand focuses on analyzing gender inequality; in particular radical feminism is directly related to this and recognizes the reliance upon men to procreate. In modern days, several people go into relationship with same sex and artificial means of procreation occurs or adoption signifying how the societal norms has changed showing relationships can still flourish and women no longer needs to rely on men for survival.

Symbolic interactionism is a micro-level theoretical framework and perspective in sociology that addresses how society is created and maintained through repeated interactions among individuals (Michael J. and Celene F. 2015). It seeks to study interactions in formal or informal situations between two or more individuals representing the meaning attached to symbols and how communication helps between two or more individuals causing relationship breaks at some point in time during courtship. Symbolic interactionist’s conflicts sociological framework, it expatiates on individual aspects, suggesting that relationships are shaped by the interactions between partners. According to Gabb and Fink (2015), simple compliments and affection from their partner makes them feel appreciated, the success of a relationship is not dependent on materialistic or external validation it success lies on the intimate couples knowledge about. In Harley’s diary entry extracted from Gabb and Fink (2015) it highlights how Harley feels selfish over wanting an extra hour rather than to be intimate with her partner, the visceral account of her tiredness and irritation is irreconcilably juxtaposed with almost romanticized description of how lovely it is to be intimate with her partner. The socio norms professed along respect to intimacy that men seems to be more attractive than women, Interpretative Sociology studies the society and concentrates on how people associate and relate with their social world. In Harley’s diary entry extracted from Gabb and Fink (2015) Hayley suffers a real internal struggle to please her partner but also be able to rest enough to manage her working life too.

The functionalist perspective sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation and broadly focuses on the social structures that shape society as a whole not considering the individual status (Lumen Learning 2018). It is of the assumption that lovers settle and fit in as predicted by the norms of the society. It explains love and relationships as not a faultless race but a work in progress which is based on incessant reassurance.  

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