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?