Explain the role
that culture plays in the formation and maintenance of relationships
cultures assume that the free choice of a spouse is based on romantic love
but they may in reality be “arranged” by social position, religion, wealth,
opportunities, and class.
Moghaddam et al
(1993) argues that interpersonal relationships:
cultures tend to be individualistic, voluntary, and temporary
non-Western cultures tend to be collectivist, involuntary, and permanent.
cultures, social networks motivate marriages. Families play an active and often
decisive role in choosing marriage partners for the young. Love is supposed to
be discovered after marriage. In many parts of the world, arranged marriages
are still the norm although modifications are now seen in some cultures.
Study to use:
Buss et al. (1990)
proportion of marriages in the Western world end in divorce (in some
countries up to 50% of marriages). In some cultures, divorce is non-existent
or rare (e.g. in China.)
marriages usually last longer than romantic marriages (Fiske, 2004).
Marriage in traditional societies is a contract between families and often
involves economic and social engagements that create powerful bonds between
the families and makes divorce impossible. This could be a reason for
stability of marriages.
interviewed 50 Indian couples who had married for love or lived in an
arranged marriage. The couples who married for love reported diminished
feelings of love after a few years of marriage. Those who lived in arranged
marriages reported higher levels of love.
compared 28 Indian couples in arranged marriages, 25 Indian couples in love
marriages, and 31 American couples. Individuals in arranged marriages scored
higher on marital satisfaction compared to the couples in love marriages.
In spite of the
focus on love in relationships in the West, there is general agreement among
psychologists that a relationship that survives over time is one in which the
partners adapt and change with respect to what they expect of each other. Love
that involves friendship, caring, respect, and mutual sharing of experiences
could result in the powerful bonding of lasting relationships as in the ideal of
the Western “love marriage”.