Are post-traditional societies really radically individualist? One continually hears that post-traditional societies are defined by the rise of individualism. You know the story. Son no longer follows in father’s footsteps; highly mobile Gen Yers who have no sense of physical place, no soil; resident never meets his neighbours; she pops the remote on the garage door, drives to the shopping centre and back, as if quarantined from the neighbourhood. Old woman dies alone, found days later. With the links to traditional community gone we wake up in the morning and think, “What do I want today?”
But love seems to disprove the thesis. When two people are in love there arises in the one the anticipation of, and desire for, the satisfaction of the other. What makes her happy? How will this decision of mine impact on her? Would she agree with it? Am I performing as a partner? These are all the concerns that one partner has for the other when in love.