Love Around Us

The Role of Love in Education, Parenting, and Romantic Relationships

by Kaarina Määttä (Volume editor) Satu Uusiautti (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 200 Pages


Love is the most important resource of every human being’s life. The authors examine what kind of roles love might have in different phases of life. They discuss how love makes life more meaningful and enjoyable. However, there are still love-related themes that are not so easy to discuss or accept. This book provides research-based analyses about the different roles of love including forms that have aroused contradictory feelings and prejudices, such as falling in love in the old age and love in people with intellectual disability are discussed. The book serves as a textbook for studies in psychology, education, and other fields in human sciences.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Forewords
  • Part I Introduction
  • Chapter 1. What is Love and How to Love? (Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Part II Love as a Foundation of Life
  • Chapter 2. Love-based Practices in Education (Satu Uusiautti / Kaarina Määttä / Marju Määttä)
  • Chapter 3. How to Connect Pedagogical Love with Pedagogical Authority? (Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Chapter 4. The Successful Combination of Work and Family (Satu Uusiautti / Kaarina Määttä)
  • Chapter 5. The Multiformity of Grandparental Love (Eeva-Leena Maijala / Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Part III Old and New Taboos of Romantic Love
  • Chapter 6. Rules of Romantic Love in Social Media (Satu Uusiautti / Kaarina Määttä)
  • Chapter 7. The Accumulation Theory of Multicultural Romantic Relationships (Kaarina Määttä / Jaana Anglé / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Chapter 8. Falling in Love in Later Life (Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Chapter 9. Love in People with Intellectual Disability (Jenni Mattila / Kaarina Määttä / Satu Uusiautti)
  • Part IV Conclusion
  • Chapter 10. The Value of Long-Lasting Love (Kaarina Määttä)
  • Sources

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List of contributors

Jaana Anglé, PhD, career counselor, researcher, Helsinki

Eeva-Leena Maijala, MA, project manager, Rovaniemen koulutuskuntayhtymä

Jenni Mattila, MA, special education teacher, Kokkola City

Kaarina Määttä, PhD, professor, vice-rector, University of Lapland

Marju Määttä, MA, PhD student, University of Lapland

Satu Uusiautti, PhD, professor, University of Lapland

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The mystery of love never stops interesting researchers, authors, and readers. We ourselves have found this fascinating yet challenging theme worth writing, analyzing, and discussing in various academic and popular arenas, from numerous perspectives. In this book, we wanted to combine two of them: on the one hand, our purpose was to discuss love as the most important foundation and resource of every human being’s life. What kinds of roles does love have in different phases of life? What is the importance of love? It is somewhat easy to show and understand how and why love makes life more meaningful, healthy, and enjoyable. For this reason, our second aspiration was to approach those love-related themes that are not so easy to discuss or accept. In today’s world, as the flood of information increases constantly, even the most peculiar issues have become mundane. Yet, there still are topics about love that should be more openly brought up. We provide research-based viewpoints to the taboos of love.

Love Around Us consists of four main parts. In the first part, love as a phenomenon is introduced by focusing on the learnable nature of it: how people love and how to love? The second part has the emphasis on manifestation of love in various phases of life. The second chapter describes love-based practices as a part of education and as a teacher’s approach to work with children and their parents. Indeed, pedagogical love is a fundamental part of a teacher’s work, and the next chapter therefore draws a picture of it in relation to the teacher’s authority position in the classroom. From the parents and other adults’ perspective, the question of how to combine work and family successfully is intriguing. This will be discussed based on research among people with long-lasting marriages and those who have gained success at work. Finally, the chapter includes a viewpoint of grandparental love. Based on the research introduced here, it is not any obviousness that grandparents adjust to their new role right after grandchildren are born. Grandparents differ from each other and so does grandparental love. The third part introduces taboos of love. Some forms and elements of love arouse many questions or prejudices, or otherwise make us reconsider how we define love and what we consider the appropriate behaviors of love. This part covers a selection of more and less sensitive love-related themes from the role of social media in romantic relationships and multicultural marriages, to the phenomenon of falling in love among seniors. In addition, the perceptions of love among the people with intellectual disability are discussed in this part. The fourth part concludes the book by returning to the ← 9 | 10 → questions introduced in the first chapter by providing a research-based answer of why to cherish love and revealing the seven steps of long-lasting love.

Love Around Us compiles recent research of the various positive sides of life along human beings’ lifespan and perspectives of romantic love. The authors of the chapters have conducted research on love in our research team at the University of Lapland and each provide expert viewpoints to these special themes of love.

Our book concentrates on the best sides of love, and perhaps on hopes and dreams they have created, too. We illustrate how they are fulfilled in people’s everyday lives and how research participants have described them. Likewise, taboos of love are sometimes just misunderstood, unspoken features of love; while sometimes they tell about forms of love that people find difficult to accept or tolerate. Certainly, love includes some dark and unpleasant features, including possessiveness, exercise of power, and addictions. Discussion about darker sides of love would require a book of their own. In this book, we have focused on the positive opportunities and narrated experiences of love.

Love in its many forms is the foundation of human flourishing. Everyone needs love—and love is always around us!

At the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, September 29, 2017

Kaarina Määttä and Satu Uusiautti

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Part I Introduction

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Kaarina Määttä & Satu Uusiautti

Chapter 1
What is Love and How to Love?

Abstract: In this chapter, we describe how love has been studied earlier. After this review, we will present our own theorization of the construct of love. What kinds of concrete elements does love consist? How does love influence other areas of life?


Love has fascinated authors, poets, philosophers, artists, and scientists for ages. Still, the final definition is yet to become, and therefore, every research increasing understanding about love is valuable. In this chapter, we introduce our own contribution to the fundamental questions about love. The chapter leans on our earlier studies that will be referred to accordingly. Our purpose is to understand more deeply the multidimensional nature of love and how love influences people’s lives and is connected with well-being and quality of life.

First, we describe how the mysterious love has been studied earlier, for centuries. There are plenty of theories explaining the perpetual love in various scientific fields. After this historical review, we will present our own theorization of the construct of love. What kinds of concrete elements does love consist? How does love influence other areas of life?

Our ambitious intention to define new dimensions of love was fascinating to us but aroused doubt, too. When trying to make analysis of love more profound, we noticed that we are traveling in the timeless and limitless space. And yet, we hope that the chapters in this book help recognize and appreciate the perpetual nature of love.

Travelers in love face downhill and uphill roads, crossroads, obstacles, rest areas, and various signposts. There are many routes and detours. And the harsh fact is that loving does not guarantee anything and love is not unproblematic. On the other hand, the greatest love lets its target to be free, grow and develop, become better.

This chapter is written about love, with love. It asks questions, confuses, and challenges the reader. The purpose is to notice the multidimensionality of love, and perhaps shaken the old stereotypical ideas a bit—but, first and foremost, to provide means to love. ← 13 | 14 →

Unfolding the cryptic love

Mystery of love

Love seems uncontrollable, unpredictable, and impossible to interpret. Still, it has been described, appreciated, adored, doubted, wondered, longed for, and interpreted for centuries. There are numerous definitions, theories, and increasing number of research of love.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (September)
Psychology Romantic Love Education Taboo Love Research
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien. 2018. 200 p., 4 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Kaarina Määttä (Volume editor) Satu Uusiautti (Volume editor)

Kaarina Määttä is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Vice-Rector of the University of Lapland, Finland. Satu Uusiautti is a Professor of Education at the University of Lapland, Finland.


Title: Love Around Us
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