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The compelling nature of romantic love: A psychosocial perspective

The compelling nature of romantic love: A psychosocial perspective
The compelling nature of romantic love: A psychosocial perspective
This paper combines psychoanalysis with socio-cultural theory in order to illuminate the vicissitudes of romantic love. Contemporary sociological theory argues that we are witnessing a new discourse of intimacy in popular culture and in everyday narratives of love and relationships. In a postmodern age, the need for or belief in romantic love might seem unreconstructed and naive, but romantic love retains a compelling hold in contemporary culture and psychoanalysis can help to explain why. This paper demonstrates the need for a socio-psychoanalytic analysis of love ideals and love talk via case material from two female interviewees from different generations and it will discuss what romantic love means for them. It will argue that there is a complex interaction between one's psychic and social self, and demonstrate that it is by analysing this dynamic interplay that we can understand why romantic love is desired and deconstructed in one case, but remains decathected and uninterrogated in the other.
romantic love, reflexivity, narrative, modernity
23-43
Brown, J.C.
a4e89a80-d3b2-417e-8969-c103ddba409a
Brown, J.C.
a4e89a80-d3b2-417e-8969-c103ddba409a

Brown, J.C. (2005) The compelling nature of romantic love: A psychosocial perspective. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 10 (1), 23-43. (doi:10.1057/palgrave.pcs.2100039).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper combines psychoanalysis with socio-cultural theory in order to illuminate the vicissitudes of romantic love. Contemporary sociological theory argues that we are witnessing a new discourse of intimacy in popular culture and in everyday narratives of love and relationships. In a postmodern age, the need for or belief in romantic love might seem unreconstructed and naive, but romantic love retains a compelling hold in contemporary culture and psychoanalysis can help to explain why. This paper demonstrates the need for a socio-psychoanalytic analysis of love ideals and love talk via case material from two female interviewees from different generations and it will discuss what romantic love means for them. It will argue that there is a complex interaction between one's psychic and social self, and demonstrate that it is by analysing this dynamic interplay that we can understand why romantic love is desired and deconstructed in one case, but remains decathected and uninterrogated in the other.

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More information

Published date: April 2005
Keywords: romantic love, reflexivity, narrative, modernity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 35634
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35634
PURE UUID: dd040bc9-af21-408c-b714-c3ce2653167f
ORCID for J.C. Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3383-8809

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 May 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:05

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