Outline and evaluate research into the influence of culture on romantic relationships

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Outline and evaluate research into the influence of culture on romantic relationships:

There are many observed cultural differences in romantic relationships. These can be attributed to the type of society individuals live in, individualistic or collectivist, both with very different ideas about how individuals should live and what their priorities should be. Such embrace different types of relationship, involuntary or voluntary, permanent or impermanent. In addition in different cultures different things are valued within relationships and they are formed, maintained and ended for different reasons.

In collectivist cultures there has been much evidence to suggest many marriages are involuntary. Udry 74 stated that the traditional system for mate selection in such cultures is by arranged marriage. Qureshi (91) identified 3 types of arranged marriage, planned, chaperoned and joint venture. Kurian (91) through his research, demonstrated how common arranged marriages are in collectivist cultures. He found that a majority of marriages in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are arranged. Certain attitudes towards marriage were also found in collectivist cultures. For instance, Sprecher et al wanted to find out whether people from different cultures would marry somebody that had all the qualities they desired but whom they did not love. Participants from Russia were practical about marriage and 59 percent were more likely to settle for a loveless marriage. Levine et al carried out an almost identical experiment and found that participants from collectivist countries, India and Thailand 24% and 34% respectively would marry in the absence of love.
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In addition a study by Myers et al (2005) found participants from India viewing love in marriage as not very important. On the other hand, in individualistic countries the opposite has been found, with the majority of marriages being voluntary. The participants from individualistic countries in the studies mentioned above were much more reluctant to marry without love. For instance, in Sprecher et al’s research 89% of Americans would not marry without love and Myers et al’s US couples placed love as a higher priority than the Indian couples.

Studies have also shown that cultures can ...

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