Talk of Love: How Culture Matters

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University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Family & Relationships - 300 pages
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In exploring how Americans engage the culture of love, that author also probes what it means to have a culture. A culture includes platitudes and cliches, cynicism and disillusionment co-exist with high ideals, and people draw on these mixed messages to build and make sense of their lives. The Middle Americans interviewed for this book treasure the Hollywood picture of a perfect and sudden love, but they also recognize that love takes work; that "real love" is built by commitment and compromise, by taking the good with the bad and, above all, by communicating. This paradox between all-or-nothing romance and mature slow-growing partnerships is what this book resolves. In the process, the author discovers that culture gets organized inside the minds of individuals, and outside the self too, in different social contexts, codes and institutions.
 

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Contents

Introduction
FINDING CULTURE
7
REPERTOIRES
20
EXAMINED AND UNEXAMINED LIVES
39
CULTURED CAPACITIES AND STRATEGIES OF ACTION
67
SETTLED AND UNSETTLED LIVES
85
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
107
TIES THAT DO NOT BIND
131
CODES CONTEXTS AND INSTITUTIONS
156
TOWARD BETTER QUESTIONS
177
METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX
211
NOTES
233
BIBLIOGRAPHY
261
INDEX
287
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About the author (2001)

Ann Swidler is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Organization without Authority and coauthor of Habits of the Heart, The Good Society, and Inequality by Design.

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