A Psychosocial Exploration of Love and Intimacy by Joanne Brown (auth.)

By Joanne Brown (auth.)

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However, giving space to ‘learning from the experience of the self in the world’ is not always easy in an academic context, as Proctor (2001, p. 28) points out: In the renaissance of classical learning, Montaigne wrote against the increasingly academic nature of education. He believed it should teach us how to live – be useful in helping us to ‘understand ourselves … confront death, quell our wilder ambitions, appease our melancholy or our physical discomforts’. ). This is overstating the case (and the limitations of education), but it is an important point, as it highlights the possible tensions in psychosocial research, which attempts to traverse the academic/clinical (or experiential) divide.

152). The novel therefore depicts romantic love as predicated on choice within the constraints imposed by gender expectations, class and ethnicity divides. However, women were as Watt points out de-carnalised and the ability to resist one’s carnal desires is, therefore, shared by both courtly and romantic love, though the relationship is finally consummated in the romantic narrative. Watt explains this atmosphere of sexual repression by pointing to the fact that according to the Puritan view of marriage, sex outside of ‘wedlock’ was a sin.

Davies (1997), for example, explains that after the Second World War and after witnessing indiscriminate slaughter, contempt and a very modern and ‘rational’ (planned) extermination of a people, the very notion of the human was called into account. He maintains that it was then difficult to retrieve anything from the philosophy of humanism (enlightenment and romanticist ideals). Moreover, Davies points out that the concept of humanity could be hijacked and used to prioritise ‘abstract man’ over real people.

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