Modern Love

Love itself, remade by market forces. Eva Illouz  is with us.

Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture, JFK Plaza, Philadelphia.(Las/Flickr)

Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, JFK Plaza, Philadelphia.(Las/Flickr)

Everything changes, including the way we seek and experience love, says my guest this hour.  If you think love hurts, you’re not alone.  And there are new reasons it hurts, says Eva Illouz.  Very contemporary reasons.  All the time and options we have, she says, get tricky.

Internet dating makes it a digital market.  Market forces can be rough on the heart.  Our self-worth gets chained to a very slippery dream.  Men and women are less equally empowered now, she says, in matters of the heart.

This hour, On Point:  modern times, and why love hurts.

-Tom Ashbrook


Eva Illouz, the Rose Isaac Chair of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She’s the author of the new book Why Love Hurts.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian “Love hurts. And if you are nursing a broken heart this Valentine’s Day, it won’t help at all to learn that modern love hurts more now than ever. Women may have fled to nunneries and men marched to war over it, poets pined away, playwrights gone to jail for it, and Meatloaf promised to do anything for it, but experts believe love has never caused such acute suffering as it does now.”

The Times of London “Think carefully before you venture along that road. The organised marital relationships of Jane Austen’s day, and the model of love as pure emotionality that followed, are both long gone, she says. Instead, the search for love today, while it looks like free choice, “entails engagement with a complex affective and cognitive market apparatus to evaluate partners”. Yet despite this complexity, we (women) need to understand it more than ever because it is the way we constitute our self-worth.”



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