Discuss the influence of culture on romantic relationships.
Within the world there is no relationship that is the same, there are many different experiences and these experiences are vastly different for each culture. The western culture (Europe or USA) is very different when compared with the non-western cultures (India or China). The main different between Relationships in Western and non-Western cultures is the in the degree to which they are voluntary or non-voluntary.
Western cultures place importance in the rights and freedom of an individual, Individual pleasure and happiness are important so individualistic cultures have a focus on the individual, meaning that relationships are based on freedom of choice. On the other hand non-western cultures have a clear focus on the wider group, group goals and interests are more important than their own individual views. In Western cultures people live in mainly urban settings and voluntarily interact with a number of people, they therefore have a big choice in who we date, there is a large “pool” of potential relationships however In non western cultures there are less urban areas And less social mobility making interaction with strangers is rare. This means they have less choice in who they can interact and have a relationship with. In societies with reduced mobility arranged marriages are easy and make a lot of sense. In collectivist cultures, relationships are more likely to reflect the interests of the entire family. The idea of arranged marriage can give the family a say in the romantic relations.
There is a significant amount of research into this area which can show how culture does effect romantic relationship. Gupta and Singh(1982) compared 100 professional Indian couples. 50 had been married for love and 50 had taken part in arranged marriages, they used Rubin’s liking and loving scales. ‘Love’ was found to be high at the beginning of love marriages but then declined rapidly over the first 10...
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