LOVE RESEARCH 21 is a network of researchers from a variety of disciplines including literary and film studies, philosophy and social sciences.
In our collaborative and comparative research we look at experiences and representations of love. There is no limit to the scope of our work regarding the types of love studied: parental love, romantic love, love-thy-neighbour, patriotism etc.
We focus sharply – however – on the present (here labelled ‘the twenty-first century’). This focus does not imply that somehow at midnight of the first of January 2000 a paradigm shift had occurred. Love is durable and it is flexible. While we tend to believe in eternal values of love and even eternal love, our experiences often feel new, unprecedented and challenging.
Cultural and political developments since the turn of the century play into this heavily. Love researchers of the 1990s by and large agreed that societies in the Western world had reached a point of comprehensive de- traditionalisation which meant that love had become individualised. What we have been witnessing since then are sustained attempts to re-traditionalise the ways in which people relate to each other. Religion has made a grand comeback in society and politics.
It is – therefore – time to reassess what love means in our present.