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Love in America : Gender and Self-Development - Francesca M. Cancian

Love in America

Gender and Self-Development

Hardcover Published: 10th October 1987
ISBN: 9780521342025
Number Of Pages: 224

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In the past twenty-five years, Americans have gained considerable freedom in their personal lives. Relationships are now more flexible, and self-development has become a primary goal for both men and women. Most scholars have criticized this trend to greater freedom, arguing that it undermines family bonds and promotes selfishness and extreme independence. Francesca Cancian is more optimistic. In this book she compares these newer images of close relationships with "traditional" forms of marriage, in which love is seen as the responsibility of women, while self-development is regarded as a male concern. She shows that many American couples succeed in combining self-development with commitment. For them, interdependence, not independence, is their ideal, and love and self-development do not conflict, but reinforce each other. Changes in images of love are documented, in part, by examining case studies, popular magazines of 1900 to 1979 and selected articles in them on how to have a happy marriage. In sum, the author concludes that images of love in America have shifted from polarized gender roles toward more flexible roles and interdependence, thus fostering both love and self-development.

"Amid the plethora of scholarly and popular books on the current state of love, marriage, and community life in the United States, Francesca Cancian's Love in America stands out as a welcome and needed contribution. Drawing on survey findings, in-depth interviews, and content analysis of popular magazines, it offers an original account of the range of love relationships that has emerged in recent decades as women and men 'have gained considerable freedom in their personal lives'. The book also provides a well-reasoned and convincing rebuttal to the prevalent view that modern structural and cultural arrangements produce the disintegration of close, enduring personal bonds." American Journal of Sociology

List of figures and tablesp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction
Love vs. self-developmentp. 3
The History Of Love
The feminization of love in the nineteenth centuryp. 15
From role to self: the emergence of androgynous love in the twentieth centuryp. 30
The history of love: theories and debatesp. 49
Feminized Love And Its Costs
Feminine and masculine lovep. 69
Illness and split gender rolesp. 81
Marital conflict over intimacyp. 91
Androgynous Love
Self-development through androgynous lovep. 105
Androgynous love in marriagep. 122
Friends and relativesp. 134
Conclusion
Current trends and future possibilitiesp. 149
Study of close relationships in southern Californiap. 157
Trends in magazine articles on marriagep. 163
The rise and fall of women's movementsp. 164
Biology and genderp. 165
Notesp. 168
Referencesp. 188
Indexp. 206
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521342025
ISBN-10: 0521342023
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 10th October 1987
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.5