By L. McKenzie
This publication examines how the romantic relationships of age-dissimilar are understood. according to a number interviews, McKenzie argues that ancient shifts towards higher own autonomy in associate choice, inside of relationships, and in marriage and courting dissolution were vastly overstated. via her specialise in age-dissimilar undefined, whose expanding incidence have frequently been obvious to join this shift, she means that those relationships are an street wherein shared cultural understandings of relatedness, in addition to individualism, may be additional analysed. McKenzie argues for an process that emphasises cultural continuity, and which money owed for complexity and contradiction in how age-dissimilar relationships and romantic love are understood.
Examining key problems with kinship, growing older and emotion, Age-Dissimilar and Romantic Relationships will entice students of Cultural and Social Anthropology, kinfolk experiences and Sociology.
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Additional info for Age-Dissimilar Couples and Romantic Relationships: Ageless Love?
Most discussions of shifts in marriage and relationships focus on the eighteenth century onwards, during the Industrial Revolution (Coontz 2006b; Land 1980; Matthijs 2002). During this period, Marx and Engels (2002: 223) argue, all fixed relations were ‘swept away’, to be replaced by new ones that quickly became ‘antiquated before they … [could] ossify’. Writing about individualism and capitalism in modern societies, however, Macfarlane (1987, 2002) has suggested that these shifts began significantly earlier than most theorists claim.
Here, I adopt the latter view, which also reflects Strauss and Quinn’s (1997) viewpoint. I find Macfarlane (2002) particularly useful in discussing what brought about the romantic love ideal. He suggests that behind the marriage system that was in place prior to the eighteenth century, there existed layers of political, legal, cultural and economic decisions that reflected a number of ancient features (Macfarlane 2002: 91; see also Béteille 1979; Macfarlane 1993). Thus, it becomes evident that the influence of democracy, individualism, capitalism, and consumerism on romantic love, marriage, and the family is a complex matter.
I employed numerous methods when undertaking my research, including semi-structured interviews and focus groups, surveys, and media analysis. However, the bulk of my discussion is based upon the semi-structured interviews, which proved to be the most productive source of information. These took place over a period of 12 months, between February 2008 and 2009. I interviewed people who were or had previously been engaged in heterosexual, age-dissimilar relationships. I excluded homosexual, age-dissimilar relationships from my study due to the problems associated with finding a suitable (and representative) number of people involved in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.