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Loving him for who he is: The microsociology of power
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centre for feminist social studies, CFS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7766-8696
2014 (English)In: Love: a question for feminism in the twenty first century / [ed] Anna G. Jónasdóttir and Ann Ferguson, New York: Routledge, 2014, p. 97-110Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The chapter theorizes the tension inherent in contemporary western heterosexual love between, on one hand, norms of gender equality and freedom to choose and, on the other, persisting gender inequality. Focusing on the empirically documented asymmetry in love ‘exchanges’ as such between women and men, I ask how this tendency comes about despite the fact that mutual love is the raison d’être of the relationship, that the ideological context prescribes gender equality and that there are no salient external factors that stop women from breaking up in case they are not satisfied.

My main argument is that, since what we normally (can) expect from women and men differs, what tends to evoke gratitude, appreciation and love is also gendered. Hence, even if an individual man practices reciprocity in love, he will still be structurally advantaged to the extent that his behaviour implies a positive break with what can be expected from men in general. This tends to make the woman more grateful than the man – despite the actual symmetry – and thereby the asymmetry is paradoxically reinstated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2014. p. 97-110
Series
Routledge advances in feminist studies and intersectionality ; 14
Keywords [en]
love, heterosexuality, intimacy, gender
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26390Libris ID: 14743069ISBN: 9780415704298 (print)ISBN: 9781315884783 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26390DiVA, id: diva2:565774
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-11-08 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Gunnarsson, Lena

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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