Messages about love and intimate relationships are

deeply embedded in American popular culture.

Consider greeting cards, for example, and the cultural

messages and assumptions they contain about love, sex,

intimacy, and appropriate intimate partners. Conduct

a content analysis of romantic greeting cards such as

valentine, engagement, wedding, and anniversary cards

that express love and, using a sociological perspective,

analyze the messages and images they contain in terms

of some or all of the following points: Do the cards contain the same or different messages for women and men

about love and/or being in love? Can you tell if they are

intended for a woman or a man, or is the language neutral? How is love described in the cards? Do the cards

make assumptions about sexual orientation? Do the

cards’ messages and images presume heterosexuality?

Are there specific cards and/or messages for same-sex

couples? What cultural assumptions do the cards make

about love and intimacy between women and men of

color? Are there specific cards and/or messages for

couples of color? Do they differ from those for Whites?

What about interracial love? Are there cards that address

interracial intimate relationships? If yes, how is the issue addressed?

 In your assessment, does the greeting

card industry promote and maintain patriarchy, racism,

sexism, and heterosexism? 

What changes would you

suggest to those who create and promote greeting cards

about love and intimacy?