Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Social Science, Faculty of Sociology, University of Allameh Tabataba'i, Tehran, Iran.


The primary goal of this study is to observe conceptual changes in loyalty. The research questions are as follows: What is the difference between girls' and their mothers' understanding of loyalty? And what is their reaction to the disloyalty of their spouses? Through reviewing related studies, the most important innovative aspect of this study is that it attempts to analyze the experience of two generations of daughters and mothers in the field of loyalty understanding. Also, another innovative aspect of this study is that it intends to deal with their strategies for achieving loyalty and confronting disloyalty. Theoretical concepts such as Bowman's "Liquid Love," Giddens' "Pure Relationship Theory," Illouz's "Emotional Capitalism," Badiou's "In Praise of Love," and "Ideal Types of social actions" were used to raise theoretical sensitivities. The research method is thematic analysis. The data were collected using a semi-structured interview technique. The samples were Tehranin married daughters aged 23-33 and their mothers (13 mothers and 13 daughters). Based on the primary and the secondary objectives, we grouped 15 main categories into three demeans.
The first dimension is the semantic conception of loyalty, including multiple elements of loyalty meaning, intergenerational interpretation of loyalty concept, liberating loyalty, loyalty as the commitment to housekeeping roles, and commodified love and loyalty; the second dimension contains strategies which include: the restorative insight of mothers, daughters' eliminative reaction, effective persuasion, legitimation strategy, a ternary mixture of "conversation, counseling, friendship-basis," and reconsideration in the relationship; We named the final dimension as intervenors, which includes: the shadow of the paternal family and mothers being as referent, religious-moral beliefs and guarantees of loyalty, fear of disputes escalation in case of family intervention, and the importance of the chosen strategies in crucial situations.
The findings show a diversity of meanings related to loyalty among participants.

A) The dominant concept of loyalty in both generations is sexual and emotional betrayal.
b) Another common meaning is that loyalty is a kind of relationship based on adherence to commitment, roles, and responsibilities. 
c) Another meaning of generally emphasized loyalty, is loyalty as a kind of inner emotional bond, a high level of intimacy, love, and the expression of love.
d) Loyalty is one of the most important moral and religious principles emphasized by mothers.
e) Loyalty is meaningful as long as it does not hinder their freedom as seen in daughters.

The results show that the meaning of loyalty largely depends on the age of participants, mothers commonly percept disloyalty as betrayal, and daughters who are closer to their mothers in terms of age have a similar definition, but in younger daughters, the definition of loyalty is more biased to concepts such as love, intimacy, and liberation. Religious beliefs influence the choice of strategies, especially in mothers; The academic capital of mothers and daughters affects the way they interpret loyalty, and those with higher academic capital, even in more socially prestigious areas, have newer and more modern perceptions of loyalty, which has been mentioned in the previous chapters; The cultural capital, primarily academic capital, in the family, especially in mother, play a very important role helping daughter in choosing strategies while facing challenges, when cultural capital is high, her experience and guidance, make solving daughter's marital issues easier, directing daughters to the efficient family consultations, sticking to conversations instead of spreading issues to the families, are some of such strategies. On the other hand, when the cultural capital is low, facing issues incorrectly by both parties, disloyalty, or even a sense of it, lead to divorce; age also has an impact on choosing strategies. The restorative strategies are more common to mothers, while eliminative one, commodified emotional relationships, and consultation are more common among daughters. Mothers rarely use consultation, sometimes with an incorrect imagination of it because of encouraging youth to divorce; Low economic capital affects chosen strategies in both daughters and mothers. Those from weaker economic backgrounds often opt for restorative and legitimation strategies over eliminative ones. An eliminative strategy is more common among economically independent people


Main Subjects

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