By Joanne Brown (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Psychosocial Exploration of Love and Intimacy
23) The function of romantic love, in this context, can be likened to the function of an autobiography (as described by Gusdorf): ‘a theodicy of individual being, doubting its own value … making a reconciliation to self’ (p. 39). Berger and Kellner imply that pre-industrial life shielded people from a sense of this anomie, because it was a collectivist society, which they depict in a romantic light (‘the same social life pulsated through the house, the street and the community’, p. 8). By contrast, they depict the now isolated conjugal family unit as living in an impersonal global public sphere (see p.
Indeed, according to Pearce, the forte of the romantic love story is that the characters are loosely drawn (empty) thus allowing us to fill them up with our identifications and needs. 1 The narrative of romance A socio-cultural way of seeing romantic love has involved deconstructing some of the different discourses or meanings that are discernible in the romantic narrative, and looking at the socio-economic and cultural 46 A Psychosocial Exploration of Love changes which are conducive to the romantic sensibility or narrative.
This is a type of love that leads to a loss of self, because one’s whole being is consumed by thoughts and desires for that which is strongly idealised and forever unattainable. Courtly love is not therefore referred to as a love rooted in the dictates of reality and reason. 17 Romance can therefore be associated with the ascendency of reason while incorporating resonances of cosmic fate, transcendence, religious ecstasy or conversion. For the sake of clarity, we can think of romantic 32 A Psychosocial Exploration of Love love as both an heir of the Enlightenment and of, broadly speaking, religious passion, insight and obfuscation.