Influence Of Public Love Discourse Cultural Studies Essay

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In a modern society the sphere of the intimate gets that importance which it never has before. And that is the reason why it has ceased to be private sphere. Expression of individual feelings submits to the general rules, and these rules become the third element in relations of a two. Existing public love discourse (being a context of love relations) promotes construction and reproduction of certain behavior and verbalization of love relationships (and the things connected with them) through containing in metamessages the information about various attributes of love institute (I will use this word, meaning in this case some set of rules and the steady form of behaviour, and also a social embodiment of the love relations as a whole which most part just is the discourse).

I understand some public context of love relations connected with practicies of donation of flowers and cards as a discourse (it not a private affair of everyone anymore, it is almost a duty, especially on the Valentine's day (for example)), the advertizing, maintaining the stereotypes connected with love relations, love novels etc. - i.e. the huge set of institutes successfully using love in commercial purposes and at the same time influencing maintenance and functioning of institute of love - through constructing and reproducing of the stereotypes including some rules, etc. These institutions "exploit" love throught. As already it was spoken earlier, stereotypes including gender, play an essential role at influence on consciousness of individuals, on their representations about the world as they substantially influence internal readiness of the person definitely to estimate the world around phenomena. Stereotypes are recognised, they are easier perceived, and the information, subject through stereotypes, is well remembered.

What sources of influence of a love discourse?

Such commercial institutes, as can be sources of similar influence:

1) shops, engage in a various sort sales (since sales of cards and flowers, continuing shops of clothes and up to on sexshops)

2) the advertising which actively use and construct stereotypes, especially concerning relations of sexes.

3) Books and films

4) Man's and woman's glossy magazines

5) Various courses and the trainings, teaching how to win the heart of representative of other sex

Besides, there is also an influence of the second order, already more deep.

From the -stated sources we receive knowledge of what should be love relationships, how correctly to conduct themselves with in love institute. Further attainments disseminate already on face-to-face level. The girlfriend will necessarily give you an advice how it is necessary to behave with your boyfriend, how recognize, if he loves you, and also what he means when he gives you this or that kind of gift. She has read it once in glossy magazine or may be has learnt this information from others too. She will train you, will prepare you to enter in the intersubjective field with the knowledge about all rules of communication, and how to use this knowledge not only directly in love relations, but also and in conversations with others.

She will learn you what should be expected. You will familiarise with all cliches.

Probably, such girlfriends will be even a little. Sister and mum too will help you with training. It also can be less close people, but you will necessarily meet them, and they'll remind you those stereotypes which you already assimilated before, for example, by advertising influence.

Certainly, similar processes occur with the men, unless with the specificity. I have only given an example.

Subsequently others will express implicit expectations to you, that you are the socialised member of a society and possess all necessary knowledge concerning love relations.

It helps to create the mutual intersubjective field, to typify a situation in the same way and to construct a joint reality.

Thus, the acquired stereotypes according to Thomas's theorem, get real consequences, and works effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Problem statement

To learn how the love discourse is made and reproduced.

The research problem consists in "tracing" a process of formation and change of stereotypes by the influence of love discourse (if that influence takes place to be). To study possible gender differences in perception of discourse influence.

To fulfil this general purpose it is necessary to:

To find stereotypes of love relations in discourse and also in respondent's attitudes

To find out influence of a love discourse on men and women perception of relationships

To compare distinctions in perception on age, an educational level, etc.

The first problem assumes realisation of the analysis of magazines content as most accessible to studying type of discourse carrier.

Within the limits of the second and third task interviewing of certain number of respondents will be conduct. And it also will be conduct several focus-groups.

I will say about the third task more in detail.

Obviously, it is impossible to expect, that perception of love relationships will make universal influence on all. After all the person is not simply passive addressee of the information. He/she can eliminate unnecessary information, analyze important information, and also estimate it depending on socio-cultural (but individual) conditions.


People reproduce a discourse existing in magazines that first of all is appreciable in their speech.

From men and women performances of different roles are expected and the different aspects of action can be significant.

Women connect material aspects and feelings (not necessarily proportionally), and men perceive, for example, donation of gifts as something unnecessary, but unavoidable.

Depending on a sex, age and an educational level the perception of influence of a discourse will be a miscellaneous.

The literature review

In the literature review such sections, as the discourse power, sociology of emotions and love sociology, the analysis of culture will be considered.

Power of the discourse

M.Fuko spoke about interrelation of a discourse and the power. It is a question that by means of an existing discourse the power can impose the positions. That is, if to speak, for example, about sexuality - at various times in different societies the discourse of relationships of sexes was different. And some theories (for example, Freud's psychoanalysis) - were impossible in some societies. Because the discourse of similar understanding of relations could arise only in a context of the given theory.

Sociology of emotions

One of key postulates of sociology of emotions can consider the remark of Barbalett that the situation of experience of emotion is aspect of the emotion [1]. Within the limits of the given direction emotion is considered as a variable of social action. It means that expressions of emotions aren't spontaneous, but involve in socio-cultural context, and it allows to express emotions.

The theory of emotional management of A.Hohshild says that emotional culture represent what people should feel in various situations [3]. The main objective of emotional work - maintenance of a "Self" image according to norms of emotional culture.

Rosenberg has put forward the reflective theory of emotions [4]. According to this theory the human behavior is reflective - individuals analyze and construct their own "Self". And without criteria of culture people couldn't differentiate that stream of feelings which they test, therefore emotions are connected with a reflection of over feelings, with decoding of about what they signal.

There are such situations in which people should do something because so it is necessary. For example, in certain situations to show interest to other person. Our behavior as though keeps within already existing designs. If we did something not so we couldn't achieve from surrounding that it is necessary for us so, and daily human relations couldn't exist.

Sociology of love

The romantic love assumes that long emotional connection with another on the basis of certain qualities can be established, is immanent inherent in this communication. Giddens confirm the love "transmutation" is in the same degree a present phenomenon, as well as sexuality occurrence; and it is directly connected with reflexivity and self-identity questions [9].

Luhmann says that the love isn't independent feeling. It more likely the set of rules, regulating communications. It is that rule as it is possible to formulate, express and hide feelings, to ascribe another and so on. Asymmetry of internal experience always involves possibility of expectations, orientation in relation to internal experience of other person even if it actually hasn't expressed any desire.

In this connection uniqueness of the person became an universalistic principle. Thus individual uniqueness has found the functional basis in semantics of love.

He describes love relations as relations which should describe sensitivity of individuals to each other, and says that they were means of an additional designation subjective and exclusive in the individual as "relations" a priori meant possibility both to sensitivity of another.

That only knowledge that one person loves another, became insufficiently. It should occur from emotional acknowledgement. Therefore the love began to be idealized. Everything that surrounded love, began to be of great importance that could mean that the love began to make the own, especial world.

Cultural analysis

I.Samorukova analyzed representations of men and women in the literature. She asserts, that the important role at the culture analysis is played by art as system of transfer of the knowledge, using "easily acquired" system of stereotypes. Thus, use of stereotypic thinking as "translator" to consciousness of the individual can be so strong, that the sent messages become for the individual a true construct of his reality [11, 199]. According to I.Samorukova, representations are similar to language - they carry out a role of the dumb communications transferring senses which are turned to consciousness of concrete people (possessing a certain picture of the world), and to mass consciousness (here properties of stereotypic thinking are better visible). On the other hand "artists" (founders, creators, etc.) inadvertently broadcast cultural stereotypes, always implanted in human experience [11, 203].


The general research perspective is qualitative. The study will mainly focus on the collection of the soft primary and secondary data. The former are supposed to be gathered through semi-structured leitmotif interviews with men and women and also by conducting of focus-groups. The latter will be obtained via extensive examination of men's and women's glossy magazines and also scrutiny of forums devoted to a theme of love relations.

At first I will study magazines by method of the substantial analysis. It will be analyzed the articles devoted to a theme of love relations - describing concrete love stories and scripts, rule. For example, an articles about how to learn that the partner loves you (i.e. to find some "alarm (or signal) system", showing due expectations). It will be also examined articles with "useful advises"- for example that it is necessary to tell and what to present.

Then, at a stage of interview respondents will be asked to tell the story of love relations, and provoking during the interview by means of keywords and the scripts revealed in magazines. Demonstration of a visual material is possible also.

Focus groups with men and women (separately) also will be devoted to rules of construction and conducting love relations - also with stimulating materials. In the conditions of a finding in a public field informants will give out more likely stereotypes, and "deleting" of borders between intimate and public sphere is the most appreciable here.

The analysis of forums assumes a finding of the most popular themes for conversations about love - here it is possible to notice display of the power of a discourse about which spoke Foucault. It is possible to make also experiments, asking participants of forums, for example: "My boyfriend doesn't give me flowers. What it can mean?". Answers are represented to me very interesting.