86.2 Virtually in love - online rituals of couples

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:03 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Swen SEEBACH , Humanities, PhD Candidate/ UOC, Barcelona, Spain
The Presentation will explore rituals in long distance, or partially long distance love relationships. Analysing these rituals I will look at how we connect and relate with our partners using new communication technologies, the ways we use and perform our body and emotions for the performance of liminal online rituals, and some of the consequences of these rituals for couples who cannot adapt to the necessities of the new environment.

This project follows the idea of Eva Illouz that love relationships have contributed to the developments of capitalism at least from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. Cinema, restaurants, beauty products, luxury, and gifts they all became important for the successful performance of romantic rituals. Latest social developments and the increased use of ICTs have transformed these rituals of love. Consumption and rituals of love are still related to each other but in a different way. Instead of consuming a movie or a product together the couple has to perform a seduction wherein both have to transform themself into an visual object of consumption for the Other. Just if the other still comes to your presentation the relationship continues. The attempt to perform oneself on the screen, negotiating between the needs and desires of the self and the other, being honest, desirable, sexy and authentic at the same time, demands a strong management and regulation of the self, a rationalisation and controlled performance of emotions.

For my research I have carried out 30 autobiographical semi- narrative interviews with people having a long distance or having had a long-distance love relationship.