This book looks at social representations of romantic love as portrayed in films and interpreted by their audiences, using cinema as a means for analysing the state of romantic love today, and the touchpoints and disconnects between its representation on screen and the lived experiences of film audiences.
Through a media sociology lens, the book draws on analysis of five contemporary romantic films and the meanings brought to and made from them by socially and economically diverse audiences. Employing both textual analysis and primary interviews, the book contests overly pessimistic perspectives on modern intimacy while acknowledging and exploring some of the challenges, woes and changes that romantic love is experiencing in late capitalism. Concerns and debates over monogamy, the teleology romantic love and the division of labour in relationships percolate in this book’s examination of how audiences’ responses to these films reflect their attitudes and expectations regarding romantic love.
This book will have great resonance for scholars and students of not just film studies and media studies, but also audience studies, media sociology, philosophy, gender and sexuality.
Table of Contents
1. Celluloid love: Romance, ideology and self-commodification
2. Audience research, audiences of romance
3. Love and technology: Control, affordances and prejudice
4. A class apart: Love, expectation, and the middle-class construction of self
5. Of happy endings and new men
Benjamín de la Pava Vélez is a sociologist with a PhD in Media and Communication from the London School of Economics with a keen interest in the sociology of emotions, mediatisation, representations and critical theory.