My mega-post on the sociology of culture as applied to the "problem" of love is finally up at Scatterplot.
Feel free to comment on any aspect of it. You know better than anyone about me, why I originally brought up the question in a fit of emo-ness during the summer when I was lying on the floor in my pajamas listening to Dusty Springfield, Mariah Carey, and Phil Collins and watching all seven seasons of Buffy. And why I'm so happy now. I'm glad that you've met and like TD, and that things are working.
You also know better than anyone what love will cost me--not individually or psychically or whatever kind of emo bullshit of being totally consumed by love (who does that kind of self-immolating love?), but in terms of family disapproval, because my dad is racist and psycho like that and will probably disown me for marrying a non-Vietnamese person. Sigh. I really love Swidler's book, and understand why she chose a relatively homogenous sample of upper middle class white Americans, but I quibble, personally, with this consequence of that homogeneity:
Very few interviewees described heroic struggles to marry against social or family opposition...There was an occasional marriage against parental opposition, but little was made of it. These interviewees on the whole seemed perfectly content to have married just the kinds of people their parents wanted for them, and indeed, they frequently said jsut that....Heroic struggle to marry has largely disappeared from the accounts my interviewees give of their lives, but it has been replaced by another powerful heroism--the heroic effort necessary to keep relationships together (121-122).Great. Now I gotta endure all of the travails and neuroses of typical educated, middle-class Americans and still go through my last-vestiges-of-immigration Fievel/West Side Story dramatic musical. I've never accused you of white privilege, but man, this kind of sucks for me.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Sorry for the delay. But dude, look at all the books I read and all of the references!