This book provides a conceptual, historical, anthropological, and sociological examination of how culture influences our understanding and expression of romantic love. What exactly is romantic love, and how is it distinct from and similar to other types of love? How has romantic love been linked to sex and marriage throughout history and across cultures? What cultural factors influence romantic attraction? These are some of the questions addressed by the volume’s interdisciplinary yet focused lens.
Much of the current research evidence suggests that love is a universal emotion shared by the majority of people across all historical eras and cultures. However, love manifests in various ways because culture influences people’s conceptions of love as well as the ways they feel, think, and behave in romantic relationships. This book summarizes classical knowledge on love and culture while also focusing on recent studies and cutting-edge research that has advanced the field.
The book begins by defining and analyzing the concept of romantic love, as well as taking an interdisciplinary approach to its study in cultural context. Then, it traces the origins and evolution of romantic love in various locations around the world and throughout history. Then, it examines the revolutionary expansion of romantic love ideas and practices in various parts of the world in the late 20th and early 21 centuries, with a particular emphasis on the development of romantic love as a cultural ideal of modern cultures. Finally, the book summarizes major achievements in this field of study and forecasts future development.
Karandashev, V. (2019). Cross-cultural perspectives on the experience and expression of love. Springer.
This book reviews how love is defined differently across cultures as passion, joy, commitment, union, respect, submission, intimacy, dependency, and more.
It provides a comprehensive review of classical and recent theories, research instruments, and cutting-edge findings in love scholarship.
It examines the subject of love and culture from an interdisciplinary biological and social science perspective.
It offers a distinctively international perspective on the dimensions of love and culture.
The book integrates findings from various disciplines in a comprehensive description of contemporary love research and offers a systematic review of love experience and expression from a cross-cultural perspective. It delves into a variety of interdisciplinary topics, bringing together research in biological and social sciences to investigate love, probing cross-cultural similarities and differences in feelings, thoughts, and expressions of love. The scope of the book, which includes a review of major theories and key research instruments, provides a thorough foundation for any reader interested in developing an enlightened understanding of the cultural diversity in the concepts, experience, and expression of love.
Among the topics covered in the book are:
How do people in different cultures perceive love?
How similar and dissimilar are love experiences and expressions across cultures?
What cultural factors influence the experience and expression of love?
The book examines the past as well as the future of cross-cultural love research.
Karandashev, V. (2021a). Cultural Models of Emotions. Springer Nature.
This book provides a multidisciplinary overview of cultural models of emotions, with a particular emphasis on how societal cultural parameters affect people’s emotional lives in various cultural contexts. Beyond the traditional dichotomy of West-East comparison and related cultural parameters such as individualism-collectivism and power distance, it investigates many other cultural dimensions that have received less attention in mainstream research.
Among the subjects covered are:
• Fundamental emotional processes in cultural contexts
• Emotional cultural complexities
• Cultural values of survival and self-expression
• Emotional expression on the face across cultures
The book Cultural Models of Emotion presents a comprehensive review of international perspectives on cross-cultural emotional exploration that will be useful to researchers in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and communication studies.
Karandashev, V. (2021b). Cultural diversity of romantic love experience. In C. Mayer & E. Vanderheiden (Eds.), International handbook of love (pp.59-79). Springer International.
This theoretical article provides a review of contemporary cross-cultural love research. Despite the fact that love is universal across cultures, its specific interpretation varies from one to the next. The diversity of romantic love experiences across cultures is depicted in this review of cross-cultural findings.
Love is a spectrum of emotions. As a result, the cultural context of their emotional life influences how people experience love. Love beliefs, attitudes, and feelings are influenced by the diversity of emotional experiences. In terms of specific love experiences, the article presents examples and discusses
1. Experience of passion in love, as well as its cross-cultural similarities and differences;
2. Romantic love experience in the context of romantic beliefs, attitudes, and idealization, romantic notions of union, exclusivity, and jealousy;
3. Love’s erotic and sexual experiences, as well as their cultural implications;
4. A joyful and powerful love experience, as well as describing the joy, satisfaction, and happiness that love brings;
5. Maladaptive love experience, including emotional instability, suffering, obsessive and possessive feelings.
All these experiences of love are culturally specific for people from different cultures. The chapter summarizes the theoretical and empirical findings from various disciplines, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, and communication science.
Karandashev, V. (2022). Cultural typologies of love. Springer International.
The book offers an integrative approach and a culturally diverse perspective of love conceptions, experiences, and expressions, based on both individual and cultural typologies of love. It presents a comprehensive review of cultural and cross-cultural studies on how culture influences love. It also provides a systematic description of the various types and cultural models of love. The exhaustive reviews of methodology and results of studies provide a solid empirical foundation for the development of cultural typologies of love.
Readers of the book will gain a thorough comprehension of:
Cultural conceptions of love and their research methods
Multiple perspectives on the global study of romantic relationships
Models and typologies of culture in an international context
Models and typologies of culture from a multidisciplinary scientific standpoint This book is useful for interdisciplinary researchers interested in cross-cultural studies of love. Due to its easily understandable language, the book can be an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate students.
Karandashev, V., & Fata, B. (2014). Change in physical attraction in early romantic relationships. Interpersona: An International Journal on Personal Relationships, 8(2), 257-267. https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v8i2.167
The study investigated the changes in physical attraction during the early stages of romantic relationships. The longitudinal study looked at how a partner’s personality traits and relationship events affected physical attraction in early (within the first year) romantic relationships. Participants completed an eight-week longitudinal rating of their romantic partner’s attractiveness. Factor analysis revealed behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and physiological dimensions of physical attraction. The behavioral and emotional dimensions have the greatest influence on attraction in both genders, with the cognitive dimension also having an impact on attraction in women. For both men and women, personality traits of one’s partner are significant predictors of physical attraction. However, events in the relationship appear to be the only reliable predictors of a woman’s attraction.
Karandashev, V., Zarubko, E., Artemyeva, V. Neto, F. Surmanidze, L., & Feybesse, C. (2016). Sensory values in romantic attraction in four Europeans countries: gender and cross-cultural comparison. Cross-Cultural Research, 50 (5), 478-504. DOI: 10.1177/1069397116674446
The studies reported in the article investigated the roles of visual, auditory, tactile-kinesthetic, and olfactory modalities in physical attraction toward a romantic partner. The data was collected in four cultures from four European countries, with a total number of participants of 1,330. The participants from Georgia, Russia, Portugal, and France completed surveys assessing their level of physical attraction and the importance of various sensory modalities in their romantic attraction to a partner. 13 sensory factors were identified through factor analysis, including expressive behavior, dancing, singing, facial structure, body characteristics, hair and eye features, voice, expressive manner of speaking, skin, dressing, and lips. ANOVA revealed the cross-culturally common and most prevalent sensory factors of romantic attraction as well as cultural differences. Results showed that climate variations, cultural values, and traditions all contribute to these differences.
Karandashev, V., Evans, N., Zarubko, E., Neto, F., Evans, M., Artemeva, V., . . . Surmanidze, L. (2020). Physical Attraction Scale — Short Version: Cross-Cultural Validation. Journal of Relationships Research, 11, E17. doi:10.1017/jrr.2020.17
Physical attraction is an important component of both romantic and companionate partner relationships. This article reports a thorough cross-cultural validation of the Physical Attraction Scale (PAS-S) short version. The scale presents the first multidimensional measure of physical attraction for research and practice.
The scale’s initial development was completed in a multisite study with a large sample of university students from the Midwest and southeast of the United States. The results showed that the factors had a two-dimensional structure, that they were very reliable, and that there was evidence of content, convergent, and discriminant validity.
The PAS-S was used in the following cross-cultural studies, which confirmed its robust factor structure, validity, and reliability in samples from 10 cultural regions in six countries. As a result, this condensed version of the PAS-S is suitable for cross-cultural practice and research. Appendices contain versions of the scale in English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Georgian.
The authors recommend the PAS-S for research and practical use in counselling and therapy based on the results of cross-cultural validation. The scale provides a brief and informative assessment of (1) how a person feels attracted to their close partner and (2) which aspects of attraction are problematic.
Karandashev, V., Zarubko, E., Artemeva, V., Evans, M., Morgan, K. A. D., Neto, F., Feybesse, C., Surmanidze, L., & Purvis, J. (2020). Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sensory Preferences in Romantic Attraction. Sexuality & Culture, 24(1), 23-53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09628-0
Visual, auditory, tactile, kinetic, olfactory, and gustatory perceptions of a partner affect human mate choice and romantic attraction. Men’s and women’s sensory preferences are determined by evolutionary factors, socioeconomic factors, and cultural factors.
Researchers conducted a series of studies in societies with varying social, economic, and cultural parameters (with a total of 2740 participants from 10 samples in six countries). They investigated cross-cultural similarities and differences in sensory preferences that people have in their romantic attraction.
The findings revealed that the social development of countries and their cultural parameters allow one to predict the preferences of men and women for certain sensory parameters in the appearance of their romantic partners. The most general differences in sensory preferences were found in societies with varying degrees of modernization, characterized by corresponding social and cultural parameters.
The results showed that:
- Stable biologically and evolutionarily determined physical appearance characteristics such as smell, skin, body, and so on, are important for one’s sensory preferences in romantic attraction in less modernized societies with greater power distance, lower individualism, indulgence, and emancipative values.
- The characteristics of a romantic partner’s appearance that are more flexible and easier to change, such as expressive behavior, dress, dance, and so on, are more important in more modernized societies with lower power distance and a high value of individualism, indulgence, and emancipation.