Feminization of love
(1) “Aaaaah … the chemistry of falling in love, the highs and lows, the irrationality, the passion, the intensity…”
But is it all chemistry? Address this question by considering the ways that romantic love is socially constructed and its significance for both society and for individuals.
Your discussion should show your understanding of the following concepts:
• _Social construction of romantic love
• _Commodification of romance
• _Socialisation (norms, conformity, gender)
• _Emotion work
• _Feminization of love
These essay questions are intended for you to recognize the relationship between micro and macro social worlds (individuals/relationships/society). Thus while you may focus micro-sociologically on one level, you should show the connections in terms of codes, rules and social purposes, and individual experiences. That is, small-scale relationships may well be grounded in the little matters of everyday life but their conduct is to some extent governed by wider cultural codes and rituals (as we’ve been discussing over the last few weeks, and lecture-3 is especially important here).
The list of key concepts provided for each question should help you develop your discussion. In each list, the key concepts overlap. For this reason and for the purpose of presenting a ‘seamless’ discussion, you should avoid trying to discuss the concepts within separate headings or to allocate an even number of words to each. This is likely to reduce overall coherence and thwart your success at showing understanding of the relevance of each concept to your discussion and the overlap between concepts.
For example in question (1), you might show the interrelationship between concepts such as ‘social construction of romantic love’, ‘feminization of love’ and ‘socialisation’, and then work on the connections between ‘gender’, ‘self-identity’ and ‘emotion work’ and finally on ‘commodification of romance’. Please note that these are mere suggestions and, depending on the specific topics you focus on and the argument you want to develop, you might mix and match concepts in other ways.
Please note that you are expected to show evidence of comprehension of the weekly and relevant further readings because they unpack and exemplify the concepts I have listed for each question. I would like you to draw from the subject material as I operate from the idea that to ‘do a subject’ means to ‘do the course reading’. A key benefit of doing this is that you will stay within the framework of sociology. Whilst material from other disciplines may be of interest, substantial use sets up the risk that your work may not be seen as a sociological effort. If you are in doubt about anything to do with the readings please contact me.
In 2nd and 3rd year, you should be competent in referencing most kinds of source material. Please consult the Referencing Style Guide on the library homepage for examples of how to reference books and articles etc. both in the body of your work and in the reference list itself:
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