Saturday, October 24, 2015

Polina Aronson — Romantic regimes

Love in the West is consumerist – we choose a partner to give us what we think we need. But Russians do things differently.
Weekend reading. More on what it means to be "rational" and "irrational," and why rational choice theory's assumption a homogenous "human nature" is simplistic, reflected in different ways of choosing a mate.

Aeon Magazine
Romantic regimes
Polina Aronson, Russian Writer and a lecturer in sociology at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin


Peter Pan said...

In terms of bulk numbers, Russians have a greater number of marriages, divorces and abortions per capita than any other developed country.

Looks to me they do things much the same.

Belief in marriage can be foolish and destructive.

mike norman said...

Total agreement, Bob.

Tom Hickey said...

What I found most interesting is how sociologists generally consider quantities and stats (correlation), whereas female sociologists are now looking at causation in terms of how culture and institutions relate to individual behaviors.

Reflecting on her own story, she provides a close up view of that by comparing the modern liberal calculating mindset with a traditional but deeply romantic mindset that's hardly limited to Russia.

The concept of a generic human as a utility maximizer is a stylized simplification. Not that rational choice theory can't ever be useful, but rather it has limitations and the models break down is pushed beyond the limitations of the restrictive assumptions.

We are seeing this being played out in spade on the world stage right now.