A key to understanding Sociology and the Social Sciences in general is to evaluate subjects through time and compare and contrast characteristics that have changed and those that have remained the same. For this assignment I have elected to access three sources dealing with love; in three distinct time periods in the modern era. First we will survey one of the first popular mediums for the expression of love; that of poetry. I have chosen a poem by W. H. Auden to represent the early portion of this century- specifically the 1930s and 1940s. I knew I had to include a song from my idol Jim Morrison.
Not only is e the perfect voice of the volatile sex revolution of the 1960s and 1970s; his work captures the profile of a rock star who undoubtedly acquired his domineering attitude from the endless worship of submissive women. Lastly we enter the modern era with a article from my favorite magazine Men’s Health on the mistakes a man must avoid in order to please his lover. As we shall see, the increased freedom is very interesting in our first representation to the last. My goal is to show how love has changed. I hope to show what is accepted in our society today, compared with only several decades ago.
Application My sources run the gamut of ideas in the subject of love. I think Auden’s poem is the best representation of what has been termed courtly love. This seems logical, since this Romantic Era type of love was a pre-cursor to what we know as modern love. The author takes the troubadour role in his crooning style of praising his love’s qualities. He idealizes his mate and is satisfied just being in the same room as she. There are not any ulterior motives evident. Auden would be categorized as a heavenly lover, in that his love is more lofty and sacred.
There is definite contrast to this idealism though. In his last lines the author, without reservation tells of his sorrow at his loss of her to another. Morrison’s Love Her Madly could almost be interpreted as a form of limerance. He has this extreme fondness for his subject: Don’t ya love her madly? Anyone who knows the story of Jim Morrison knows that the topic of love and all that comes with it was an integral facet of his being. He is a good example of love in the context of a super-star entertainer. Morrison’s songs, and most others found in the entertainment world cannot compare with reality.
These people do not lead normal lives. Their depiction of such things as love may even be accurate portrayals of their lives, but should not be taken to represent society as a whole. Love was quite important to Morrison- provided that he had it often and with different partners. One woman could never contain his sexual urges. In this reality many sociological concepts are found. Morrison cohabited with numerous women, mainly his life-long steady girlfriend Pamela. Morrison’s male domineering attitude is evident in his line “Wanna be her daddy.
While women were beginning to experience more equality during this eriod, males were still seen as dominant. He does show signs of compassion with his line: Don’t ya love her as she’s walking out the door. Like she did one thousand times before. This shows that he was not as worried about being a man as some may have thought. He lost his love once again and he is not afraid to admit it. Even so, Morrison’s primary style of love was definitely ludus. He had no reservations about playing the field. Pre- marital sex was easily brushed aside by Morrison in this era when society was more accepting of free love.
Our Men’s Health article is best understood by using the two gender’s sexual scripts- or blueprints of our sexuality, to sort out society’s expected roles. 50 Ways To Peeve Your Lover does a decent job of informing men of the mistakes that women recognize in their sexual demeanor. Due to sexual scripts themselves, there are many learned behaviors and attitudes that men possess that they have always known as the best way. Men, due to the fact that they are less open to criticism and less willing to express their feelings, they are more subject to doing things the wrong way and never even realizing it.
No-noes like squeezing a woman’s breast because they think it turns her on, failing to ask her questions during sex, not complementing her, and other forms of improper etiquette may be what is holding back many couples from happier and more successful relationships. Critique These three representations of love were all the norms in their time but would be out of context if switched to another. People may appreciate Auden’s simplicity and purity of loves’ demeanor, but it is safe to say that it would not do very well in today’s’ society that urns for lust and sex over honest love.
Society wants to be entertained and taken to a fantasy world- one that is different and more exciting than their own. In the early 20ieth century and before I’m sure that people were satisfied reading a poem like this for the simple fact that it was a depiction of their feelings at the time- but written by a person that could write more eloquently than themselves. They were entertained by such works because they captured their mood in words. As music evolved with society along with it, the poet took on a new form of expression. Music was perfect- it has often been thought of as sexual in nature.
Words along with music symbolized an era of increased freedom and experimentation as the walls that portrayed sex as “a bad thing” began to crumble. Morrison’s portrayal of loose standards of sex, while exaggerated for society in general, are still accurate in that this was a more liberal time than previous decades. Songs such as this made it more accepted for teens and other impressionable youngsters both to have sex and see it in a kinder light. Articles such as our Men’s Health example have become the norm in today’s increasingly open and less moral society.
While the church’s forbidding f such an open discussion of sex was more adhered to in the past, people today are more comfortable talking about this and other topics that they want to hear about. We have already realized the myth that just because sex was not as discussed back then did not mean that people refrained from talking about it and doing it in secret. In fact, we know that ancient cultures such as those in Italy had an even greater sex culture than we do today. Many will say that this attitude is a better approach because it gets feelings out in the open, instead of keeping them locked up inside.
Thus people are more honest with each other nd can work their difficulties out before they explode. Conclusion It is definitely true that attitudes on love have changed in the last decade. Social structures and norms have fluctuated and have influenced people’s decisions in their own lives as well as their perceptions of others. Many people would rather return to the innocent times of Auden where love seemingly was true and carried no strings. There does seem to be a problem with the increased fragmentation of society in regards to finding love today. Gone are the days when you married your high school sweet-heart and lived happily ver after.
Increased mobility and the ease of travel has left love more available and open. People need more help today from outside services like dating hotlines and the help of marriage counselors and physchologists to sort out their troubles. It follows though that society is more complex and therefore better. Women have more rights and more say in society. There is no doubt that females were exploited more in the past than today. While society’s attitudes have changed over the years and will continue to change, one thing remains the same: love is a driving force in our lives.