The construction of patriarchy: love, obligation and obedience

Katie Barclay

in Love, Intimacy and Power

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084904
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702598 | DOI:
The construction of patriarchy: love, obligation and obedience

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This chapter explores the various meanings of love within a Scottish marriage from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, discussing how people used the language of love within their correspondence, and arguing that constructions of love were deeply implicated in the operation of patriarchy. Cultural historians, such as Irving Singer and Niklas Luhman, have attempted to describe how the meaning of love in Western Europe has changed over time. There is a tendency in such writing to only think about the concept in the abstract. As a result, different meanings of love that affected people's emotional lives and their implications for people's relationships are also discussed. More seriously for a study of power systems, and despite observations by feminists that Romantic love reinforced patriarchy, there has been little consideration of how different interpretations of love shaped how women and men viewed each other.

Keywords: Scottish marriage; love; obligation and obedience; Irving Singer; Niklas Luhman; power systems; patriarchy

Chapter.  10247 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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