The Construction of "US": The Experience of Love in the Sensible Proximity

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 424
Oral Presentation
Adriana GARCIA ANDRADE , Sociology, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
Olga Alejandra SABIDO RAMOS , Área de investigación: Pensamiento Sociológico, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
According to Norbert Elias, the loving relationship between two people is, at the same time, subjective and objective. It is so because the relationship is related to three different yet overlapped dimensions, namely:  the experience of love from the ‘I’ in relation to another person; the experience generated in the ‘US’ which implies observation and bonding of the loving relation; and the ‘THEM’ experience regarding the observation, experience and bonding of ‘others’ with those who are in the loving relationship.

In the first part of the paper, we will develop the "US" dimension of love relationships in heterosexual couples.  The aforementioned dimension implies not only a discursive story, but also a story of experiences. Experience here relates to a mutually created process that involves the existence of two or more embodied psyquic systems which "grow old together" (Schutz, 1932) and persistently irritate each other (Luhmann, 1984).   

The observation of a particular ‘US’ story is thus made possible through the existence of those conditions. Furthermore, the ‘US’ story is built up in a continuous present which includes social discourse (power, gender, class), relational moulding or what Goffman studied as ‘interaction’, and synchrony between what the mind/bodies create whilst together.

In the second part of the paper, we will observe the "US" dimension through the interaction process (Goffmann, 1983) using a finer level of analysis: sensible proximity (Simmel, 1908). Our starting point is that in interaction with others and specifically in the ‘sensible proximity’, bodies produce Sinn which is mutually interpreted (Sabido, 2012). We will develop this through the example of the loving interaction in a heterosexual couple. The presentation will finish with some examples that illustrate this sensible process.