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Love: A Frame Analysis. Exploring the Organisation of Emotion

Hardicre, Natasha Kate (2015) Love: A Frame Analysis. Exploring the Organisation of Emotion. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Sociology has made three claims about why love matters: firstly, it matters to individuals and shapes their personal lives, influences the decisions they make and the actions they take; secondly, it creates networks of belonging and forges communities; and thirdly it is the proper foundation of human society and social solidarity. This latter claim proposes that love has a moral dimension because it is unconditionally and universally concerned with the well-being of the other. There is little empirical work to support these claims, however, and the project upon which this thesis is based seeks to begin addressing this gap. It is also argued that the nature of modern life undermines love’s moral potential because it undermines the unconditional and universal concern for the other. Instead it is claimed that love in modern society is underpinned by the notion of choice and particularity such that modern love is conditional and exclusive. Modern love, then, it is argued, lacks a moral dimension. Using Goffman’s concept of ‘frame’ as the theoretical foundation of the work, this research seeks to understand the shared ways in which individuals ‘know’ love, ‘do’ love and ‘recognise’ love so that it exists as a meaningful social concept. Using data generated through interviews, focus-group discussions and qualitative questionnaires, the claims within the literature have been interrogated. The findings suggest that love does shape the personal lives of individuals and creates networks of belonging. It also supports the argument that love in modern society is conditional and exclusive, underpinned by the concept of ‘choice’. It does not, however, support the argument that love lacks a moral dimension because of this. Rather, conditional and exclusive love is a means of bestowing extraordinary value to others and this is a moral action.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Love, Morality, Goffman, Sociology, Frame
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.689246
Depositing User: Mrs Natasha K Hardicre
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2016 13:43
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13478

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