Learning About Love... In the Classroom!
Blogger: Carol Ma
I took a really interesting class called Sociology of Emotions this semester. The main topic of this class is romantic love. Love is commonly seen as the most secret and beautiful emotion of human beings. I have never thought I would have the chance to learn about love in a classroom setting and talk about it from an academic perspective. This class really helped me understand what is the feeling that people called love and what makes a good relationship.
One of our main topics of discussion was the plethora of taken-for-granted statements about love prevailing on the internet. Sayings such as “love at first sight” are repeated so many times that we begin to take their meanings for granted and forget how complex and challenging real love is. But after a close examination and analysis of these statements in class, I began to understand that these statements were more likely to be either descriptions of other feelings mistaken for love or self-fulfilling prophecies. Love as an emotion is developed through the shared experience of the two who are in love. So it is by definition impossible for one to fall in love with someone s/he just met. It is highly likely that the person one thinks s/he loves at first sight either resembles a loved one from the past or has strong sexual attraction which could be mistaken for love. Often times when a person starts to believe that what s/he feels is love, s/he will start acting as if s/he is truly in love until love is produced during the couple’s time spent together. Thus, "love at first sight" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. These concepts were difficult for me to wrap my mind around at first, but studying them has helped me to have a clearer vision of what love truly is. This kind of critical thinking skill is one of the most valuable things I’ve learned at Oxy.
There’s only a little over twenty people in my class, so everybody has the opportunity to share his/her experiences and opinions in front of the whole class. Through the sharing of personal experiences, I not only learnt about the theories, but gained a better understanding of my own experiences with love as well.
Bonus: sometimes my professor will bring her two dogs to class, who are super cute, friendly, and always run around. They love attention from students so if you happen to have food in your bag, you can have them around for a whole hour!