How People Believe Love Is Real: Actors in Structure
This study was conducted using mixed-methods; 20 in-depth interviews, romance type examinations and 368 surveys with heterosexual college students in Seoul, Korea. From actor’s point of view love is not social construct but social reality, although social structure embedded in their actions. Regardless of gender, interviewees show how they distinguish whether their relationship is love or just dating. Also, this way of interpretation for relationship is supported by statistical findings on how authenticity and reflexivity related with romance. However, the influence of social structure is huge. Since love is a process of negotiation with partner, heterosexuals interpret and shape meaning of situation in dating under the pressure of gender structure. Furthermore, modern consumer culture and consuming market force make romantic dating scripts. Uncertainty of society is matter as well. Lovers maintain their relationship as intersubjective definition of situation under social structure which affects not only their own gender, sexuality, but also daily interaction - behavior, facial and verbal expression, interpretation of situation.