Do I Qualify for a Love Relationship?: Social Norms and Long-Distance Relationships in Post-Soviet Latvia
2015 (English)In: Sexuality & Culture, ISSN 1095-5143, E-ISSN 1936-4822, Vol. 19, no 2, 388-406 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Not all couples live together; some partners live far from each other, causing potential challenges to relationship maintenance in terms of keeping the relationship ongoing. In the present study, complications in relationship maintenance experienced by heterosexual long-distance partners in post-Soviet Latvia are analysed. The complications are examined in the light of social norms as conceptualized by Parsons and Shils (Toward a general theory of action. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1962) in their notion of dominant value orientations. The article suggests that the norm conflicts experienced by the long-distance partners are illustrative of the value transitions in societies undergoing rapid social change, such as in Latvia. The analysis is based on 19 in-depth interviews with individuals with long-distance relationship (LDR) experience. The social norms complicating or hindering LDR maintenance were found to be generation-specific and gender-specific. The interviewees born and raised in Soviet Latvia referred to collective-oriented norms while the interviewees born in the independent neo-liberal Latvia referred to their own interests that complicated their LDR maintenance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 19, no 2, 388-406 p.
Latvia, Long-distance relationships, Post-Soviet, Relationship maintenance, Social norms
Research subject Baltic and East European studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26336DOI: 10.1007/s12119-014-9263-0ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84939984791OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-26336DiVA: diva2:786784