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The Theoretical Importance of Love

William J. Goode
American Sociological Review
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 1959), pp. 38-47
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2089581
Page Count: 10
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The Theoretical Importance of Love
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Abstract

Love is analyzed as an element of social action and therefore of social structure. Although the romantic complex is rare, a "love pattern" is found in a wide range of societies. Since love is potentially disruptive of lineages and class strata, it must be controlled. Since its meaning is different within different social structures, it is controlled by various measures. The five principal types of "love control" are described. Disruptions are more important to the upper social strata who possess the means for control. Therefore these strata achieve a higher degree of control over both the occurrence of love relationships and the influence of love upon action.

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