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Romantic relationships can be seen as sharing universal traits throughout the world, for instance the basis of relationships can be seen as a partnership for the raising of children. However there can be differences in relationships between different cult

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Introduction

Outline and Evaluate differences between cultures and relationships. Romantic relationships can be seen as sharing universal traits throughout the world, for instance the basis of relationships can be seen as a partnership for the raising of children. However there can be differences in relationships between different cultures. Cultural differences in relationships are usually linked with individualistic and collectivist cultures. Individualistic cultures are cultures that focus on the individual rather than the group and are usually linked with western cultures whereas collectivist cultures are those that encourage people to thinking about their group (e.g. family or community) and are usually seen as non-western cultures for instance India and China. One of the main differences between these cultures is the formation of romantic relationship for instance is the relationship formed on love or did they have an arranged marriage? Humphreys (2000) suggested in a collectivist society marriage may be seen as a union between families as much as a union between individuals. Moghaddam et al (1993) ...read more.

Middle

The continuity of relationships differs through different cultures. Most cultures allow divorce although there is a greater stigma attached to divorce in cultures where marriages are usually arranged meaning divorce rates are kept low. Statistics show that divorce rates in western cultures have risen in the last 50 years in western cultures with one third of marriages now ending in divorce. A reason suggests that increase urbanisation and greater educational opportunities is the root of the increase as many now search for the 'ideal partner'. Argyle (1986) found there were some differences in the rules of relationships in different cultures after study Italy, UK, Hong Kong and Japan. For instance he believed that there differences in the rules concerning intimacy and other rules of relationships for instance Japanese gift giving. Toomey (1986) also found that there were differences in reciprocity as this was seen as voluntary in western cultures but in some cultures (e.g. Japan) it is obligatory and seen as a moral duty. The view that relationships in collectivist societies are not based on love has attracted much criticism. ...read more.

Conclusion

than women who had experience arranged marriages. Argyles study into the rules of relationships in different cultures has also received criticism. The main problem with this study is cultural bias as the list of relationship rules were generated in the UK and may have failed to include rules that are specific to a particular culture such as Japan. Another problem is that only four cultures were studied, overlooking the rules of many other cultures which may differ. Researcher bias may have also been present due to Argyle not asking the right questions regarding the rules of relationships. There are many problems when generalising from one culture to another when examining relationships. The first problem that can occur is researcher bias which might happen when the researchers own expectations of their own culture are reflected onto the research. Another problem is that research into cultural differences in relationships is that much of the research is dominated by "Western" psychologists and the findings of their research are assumed as universal whereas it may be ethnocentric. Cultural bias can occur when a researcher tries to study a different culture for example if there is a language barrier the findings may not translate effectively. ...read more.

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