Love in America
Americans now enjoy a great deal more personal freedom than they did 25 years ago. Partnerships are now more adaptable, and both men and women prioritise their personal growth. Francesca Cancian is more upbeat than the majority of experts who have critiqued this trend towards increased freedom, contending that it weakens family ties and encourages greed and extreme independence. She demonstrates in this book how many American couples are successful at balancing self-improvement and commitment, and that interdependence rather than independence is their desire. Love and self-improvement do not conflict in interdependent relationships but rather support one another. Love in America contrasts these more contemporary types of personal relationships with traditional marriage.
Gender and self development
Cancian demonstrates how gender roles became polarised beginning in the nineteenth century, with love—which was associated with emotional expression and no practical assistance—being the responsibility of women and self-development being seen as a manly issue. Even though, as Cancian points out, this can result in marital strife, personal stress, and disease, many Americans still hold onto these traditional notions of love and relationships. In contrast, fresh perspectives on love that place a greater emphasis on both men’s and women’s personal growth as well as flexible, androgynous roles started to emerge about 1900 and picked up speed in the 1960s. She comes to the conclusion that while this trend towards self-development and androgyny will persist, whether it will result in more dependent partnerships or greater independence and isolation depends in part on economic and political factors changes in society at large. the supporting data for Cancian’s claim.