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The influence of culture on romantic relationships

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐The influence of culture on romantic relationships Relationships in Western and Non-Western cultures differ greatly due to whether they are voluntary or not and the values they base in the relationship. In Western cultures people typically choose their own partners on the basis of romantic attraction and individual choice. This is usually before making the decisions such as living together or making long term commitments like marriage. Some may even live together without getting married and the rate of marriages in western cultures has steadily decreased. Furthermore, due to greater social mobility, western cultures are characterised by a greater pool of potential relationships and choice. Western cultures also place a greater importance on the rights and freedoms of the individual and are seen as ?individualistic? as they focus on the individual making their own choices. ...read more.


This is backed up by research showing voluntary marriages from individualistic cultures actually have lower levels of satisfaction. Epstein found that in cultures with reduced social mobility, non-voluntary relationships appeared to work very well, with lower divorce rates than Western marriages. Similarly, research by Umadevi show that people in arranged marriages can be happy also. They compared female Indian students from professional and nonprofessional backgrounds. Both groups were happy with the idea of having an arranged marriage if they gave consent. Furthermore, Grupta and Singh studied couples living in areas where they had been in arranged marriages. They found that love was high in love marriages but then decreased. Whereas in arranged marriages love exceeded 10 years after the love marriages. ...read more.


There may also be a historical bias in much of this research. There has been a significant increase in the number of voluntary & temporary relationships in the West in the past several decades. This would also explain the significant increase in voluntary relationships in non-Western cultures such as India and China. Moreover, even when studying cross cultures there?s always differences within the cultures so it makes findings hard to generalise even within the cultures because not one person is the same. This represents a cultural bias where a culturally specific idea is applied to a culture where it is less relevant showing imposed etic. In conclusion, these explanations provide a valuable explanation to how relationships form under the influence of the culture. However, not everyone in the culture will follow the social norms so it?s hard to generalise the findings to each culture saying that?s how they do things. ...read more.

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