role of culture in the formation and maintainance of relationships
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Role of Culture in the formation and maintainance of relationships. How would you feel if your parents picked your boyfriend / girlfriend?. How would you feel if your parents picked your boyfriend / girlfriend? How about if they insisted on picking the person you marry?.

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slide3

How would you feel if your parents picked your boyfriend / girlfriend?

  • How about if they insisted on picking the person you marry?
slide6

Now read page 430 of Gross’ chapter on Interpersonal Relationships.

  • Make some short notes.
buss 1994
Buss (1994)
  • Read the handout on Buss’ cross-cultural study of relationships.
  • Write a yellow study sheet on Buss (1994).
cultural differences in relationships1
Cultural Differences in Relationships
  • Individualist and collectivist cultures research:-
    • Goodwin (1995 )
    • Romantic love (Levine et al. 1995 )
    • Voluntary and involuntary relationships (Shaver et al., 1991 ) found that Chinese attitude to romantic love is that it causes pain and sorrow rather than excitement and satisfaction.
    • Romantic love valued more in the US and Germany than Japan (Simmons et al. 1986)
    • Moghaddam (1993)
  • Differences found by this and other research:-
  • INDIVIDUALISTTIC
  • Based on romantic love (on being in love. Individual chooses partner. (Levine et al 1995)
  • Love seen as essential to a happy marriage.
  • In general people have a large number of superficial friendships.
  • COLLECTIVIST
  • Arranged by family on basis of social status. (Levine et al 1995)
  • Romantic love not seen as basis for a decision to marry.
  • In general people have fewer but very close friendships. (Goodwin 1995)
evaluation of cross cultural studies
Evaluation of Cross Cultural Studies
  • Comparisons are rather simplistic. The divide between collectivist and individualistic cultures is rather crude and the differences are not entirely clear-cut. E.g. Even in cultures in which marriages are arranged there is some degree of individual choice ( they are not forced marriages) and in individualistic societies parents and social groups do have a strong (if more subtle) influence on peoples choice of spouse.
  • Cross-cultural research is riddled with problems. It is very difficult for psychologists from one culture to appreciate the complexities of another culture.
  • They tend to concentrate on the relationship of the couple (a western view) but ignore kinship (family relationships) which are extremely important in collectivist societies, therefore they present a biased view.
other cultural variations
Other Cultural Variations
  • Physical attributes

(Long necked

‘Karen’ Tribe women

China small feet etc)

  • Cross-cultural differences in preference

for female body shape

    • Anderson et al. (1992)

heavy women are preferred to slender

women in the great majority of cultures

where food supply is unreliable

  • Monogamy and polygamy
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