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Original Articles

Imagining romance: Young people's cultural models of romance and love

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Pages 279-308 | Published online: 18 May 2009

This article examines the underlying cognitive structures, specifically visual and event schemata, and the meanings associated with these structures that form children's cultural models, or what they think of as typical and ideal in romance. The study shows that long before it translates into actual behavior, children's romantic imagination is shaped by the content and forms that romance assumes in the postmodern nexus of media and the market. Through 183 interviews with children ages 8 to 17, we explore how children's imagined vision of romance moves from one molded by the media, associating romance with luxury and leisure consumption, to one characterized by a tension between what media have promised them and their growning understanding of the complexities of love.

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