Commodification of online dating. Internet dating as a project: the commodification and rationalisation of online dating.



Commodification of online dating

Commodification of online dating

Today the penetration of the Internet into nearly every aspect of our everyday life has become self-evident. Just like we can read books online, buy a house or a dog, watch movies, communicate, play games and make money online, we can also engage in Internet dating and possibly find a romantic or sexual partner online.

The largest American Internet dating site match. Online dating has also become increasingly popular in Slovenia population: By the end of February the number of registered members had nearly doubled. This paper provides an analysis of narratives from straight and gay Internet daters in Slovenia.

First, we discuss the development of In ternet dating, which can be seen as a new marital mar ket, mirror ing traditional partnership and marital markets, as well as a market with its specificities, which makes it distinctively different from traditional ways of meeting partners. In the second part of the paper, the results from the qualitative research study on Internet dating in Slovenia are presented.

Through the narratives of Internet daters, we show how the Internet as a market encour- ages rationalisation and commodification in the process of building intimate relationships. Internet dating is thus not seen only as a symptom, but also as a consequence of broader changes in the field of intimacy and sexuality. The first studies on computer-mediated communication focused primarily on the impersonal features of such communication. However, the s brought new empirical findings, which showed that online communication could sometimes be even more personal than offline communica- tion.

For these reasons, the Internet has become an important partnership and marital market, a new social context for meeting potential intimate or sexual partners. The increasing popularity and importance of the Internet for dating has several social backgrounds.

Following Giddens , these include changes in intimate relationships and the private sphere, the transformation of intimacy, the phenomena of pure relationships and plastic sexuality. It has also been affected by changes in the labour sphere, such as prolonged working hours, and by the processes of individualization and the demands of the reflexive project of the self.

It has contributed to the establishment of the new reality of the inter-personal relationships Merkle and Richardson As Kuhar et al. As the Internet is a specific medium of communication i. Merkle and Richardson ; Turkle ; Walther It therefore creates a new social context in which intimate partnerships are perceived, created and sustained.

It also creates new meanings of partnership itself and its various aspects, such as intimacy, sexuality, trust, fidelity and so on. In such a way Internet dating is one of the constitutive elements of the late-modern transformations of intimacy and sexuality Giddens De spite the fact that Interne t dating has beco me a mainstream activit y, it has not nec es- sarily superseded non-virtual dating.

Rather, it exists parallel to offline traditional marital and partnership markets or even functions as a supporting marital and partnership market for possible later offline dating Hogan et al. Nevertheless — as we will show — it cannot be understood solely as yet another tool for meeting potential partners or simply just as the first phase of a later offline face-to-face communication. Instead, Internet dating is a specific marital and partnership market, which is in many ways distinctively different from the traditional face-to-face ways of meeting potential partners.

It creates specific conditions for meeting and communicating with other people for example: In other words, Internet dating creates new contexts, which importantly shape our understanding of intimacy, sexuality and intimate relationships.

Newspaper ads already indicated the principles of the marketing of the self and the buying of others Coupland ; Jagger , The process of the commodification and rationalisation of dating is caused by the very characteristics of computer-mediated communication. It excludes face-to-face interaction and thus inevitably shapes communication differently from initial face-to-face communi- cation in traditional dating, which is primarily defined by non-verbal rather than verbal 2. Despi te fre quent use of ID si tes we st ill ca n not tal k abou t ID as a tot ally st igma free par tne r search type.

Furthermore, Internet dating offers an abundance of potential partners, which consequently requires the adoption of at least some principles of ratio- nal selection Illouz On the other hand, the process of the commodification and rationalisation of dating cannot be attributed only to the above-mentioned factors, but also to broader changes in the intimate sphere and to the process of the transformation of intimacy, the changes of sexual cultures and morals and the phenomenon of reflexive individualism Bauman , ; Beck and Beck-Gernsheim , ; Giddens ; Schmidt The latter is painfully clearly illustrated by a statement of a respondent from an Australian research study on Internet dating who stated: If they say yes, we meet then we fuck.

The selected potential partners should be as close as pos- sible to the predetermined rational? In this way, as Smail points out, marketing oneself and buying others is not obvious only in personal online profiles, but also in the expectations and predetermined search criteria of those searching for romantic partners online. This chapter explains the research topics, the process of data collection, the sample characteristics and the data analysis procedure in both projects.

For the purpose of the research in both studies, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 34 heterosexual men and 32 heterosexual women and with 27 gay men — in total 93 interviews. All respondents self-identified as having experiences in se arching for a par tner on the Inter net. The aim of the studies was to look into the sociologi - cal aspects of Internet dating and to analyze its characteristics, focusing primarily on the process of filtering, which we may define as a two-way process: All participants were recruited in three steps: Secondly, the snowball sampling method was applied.

We asked each of the participants in the interviews if they could provide us with further contacts with Internet daters. Finally, an invitation to take part in the study was posted on Slovenian Internet dating sites. Recruitment was accommodated to the response rate Taylor and Bogdan We stopped interviewing once we reached the saturation point.

The gathered material enabled a wide and detailed insight into the research topic. In the gay group, two interviews were carrie d out online as the respondents were not ready to reveal their ident it y.

All interviews were audi o recorded with the permission of the participants and were later transcribed, except for the two interviews with the gay men 3. In the interviews we focused on the followi.

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Online dating and its global impact



Commodification of online dating

Today the penetration of the Internet into nearly every aspect of our everyday life has become self-evident. Just like we can read books online, buy a house or a dog, watch movies, communicate, play games and make money online, we can also engage in Internet dating and possibly find a romantic or sexual partner online.

The largest American Internet dating site match. Online dating has also become increasingly popular in Slovenia population: By the end of February the number of registered members had nearly doubled. This paper provides an analysis of narratives from straight and gay Internet daters in Slovenia.

First, we discuss the development of In ternet dating, which can be seen as a new marital mar ket, mirror ing traditional partnership and marital markets, as well as a market with its specificities, which makes it distinctively different from traditional ways of meeting partners. In the second part of the paper, the results from the qualitative research study on Internet dating in Slovenia are presented.

Through the narratives of Internet daters, we show how the Internet as a market encour- ages rationalisation and commodification in the process of building intimate relationships. Internet dating is thus not seen only as a symptom, but also as a consequence of broader changes in the field of intimacy and sexuality. The first studies on computer-mediated communication focused primarily on the impersonal features of such communication.

However, the s brought new empirical findings, which showed that online communication could sometimes be even more personal than offline communica- tion. For these reasons, the Internet has become an important partnership and marital market, a new social context for meeting potential intimate or sexual partners. The increasing popularity and importance of the Internet for dating has several social backgrounds.

Following Giddens , these include changes in intimate relationships and the private sphere, the transformation of intimacy, the phenomena of pure relationships and plastic sexuality. It has also been affected by changes in the labour sphere, such as prolonged working hours, and by the processes of individualization and the demands of the reflexive project of the self.

It has contributed to the establishment of the new reality of the inter-personal relationships Merkle and Richardson As Kuhar et al. As the Internet is a specific medium of communication i. Merkle and Richardson ; Turkle ; Walther It therefore creates a new social context in which intimate partnerships are perceived, created and sustained. It also creates new meanings of partnership itself and its various aspects, such as intimacy, sexuality, trust, fidelity and so on.

In such a way Internet dating is one of the constitutive elements of the late-modern transformations of intimacy and sexuality Giddens De spite the fact that Interne t dating has beco me a mainstream activit y, it has not nec es- sarily superseded non-virtual dating.

Rather, it exists parallel to offline traditional marital and partnership markets or even functions as a supporting marital and partnership market for possible later offline dating Hogan et al.

Nevertheless — as we will show — it cannot be understood solely as yet another tool for meeting potential partners or simply just as the first phase of a later offline face-to-face communication. Instead, Internet dating is a specific marital and partnership market, which is in many ways distinctively different from the traditional face-to-face ways of meeting potential partners.

It creates specific conditions for meeting and communicating with other people for example: In other words, Internet dating creates new contexts, which importantly shape our understanding of intimacy, sexuality and intimate relationships. Newspaper ads already indicated the principles of the marketing of the self and the buying of others Coupland ; Jagger , The process of the commodification and rationalisation of dating is caused by the very characteristics of computer-mediated communication.

It excludes face-to-face interaction and thus inevitably shapes communication differently from initial face-to-face communi- cation in traditional dating, which is primarily defined by non-verbal rather than verbal 2.

Despi te fre quent use of ID si tes we st ill ca n not tal k abou t ID as a tot ally st igma free par tne r search type. Furthermore, Internet dating offers an abundance of potential partners, which consequently requires the adoption of at least some principles of ratio- nal selection Illouz On the other hand, the process of the commodification and rationalisation of dating cannot be attributed only to the above-mentioned factors, but also to broader changes in the intimate sphere and to the process of the transformation of intimacy, the changes of sexual cultures and morals and the phenomenon of reflexive individualism Bauman , ; Beck and Beck-Gernsheim , ; Giddens ; Schmidt The latter is painfully clearly illustrated by a statement of a respondent from an Australian research study on Internet dating who stated: If they say yes, we meet then we fuck.

The selected potential partners should be as close as pos- sible to the predetermined rational? In this way, as Smail points out, marketing oneself and buying others is not obvious only in personal online profiles, but also in the expectations and predetermined search criteria of those searching for romantic partners online. This chapter explains the research topics, the process of data collection, the sample characteristics and the data analysis procedure in both projects. For the purpose of the research in both studies, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 34 heterosexual men and 32 heterosexual women and with 27 gay men — in total 93 interviews.

All respondents self-identified as having experiences in se arching for a par tner on the Inter net. The aim of the studies was to look into the sociologi - cal aspects of Internet dating and to analyze its characteristics, focusing primarily on the process of filtering, which we may define as a two-way process: All participants were recruited in three steps: Secondly, the snowball sampling method was applied.

We asked each of the participants in the interviews if they could provide us with further contacts with Internet daters. Finally, an invitation to take part in the study was posted on Slovenian Internet dating sites.

Recruitment was accommodated to the response rate Taylor and Bogdan We stopped interviewing once we reached the saturation point. The gathered material enabled a wide and detailed insight into the research topic. In the gay group, two interviews were carrie d out online as the respondents were not ready to reveal their ident it y. All interviews were audi o recorded with the permission of the participants and were later transcribed, except for the two interviews with the gay men 3.

In the interviews we focused on the followi.

Commodification of online dating

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3 Comments

  1. Or maybe you put all your eggs in one basket. Will your next dating app contain a credit-rating filter? Individual profiles may be constructed but data points far outweigh actual individuals; your interests and proclivities are packaged up and sold as asset streams on yet another marketplace that is increasingly coming to resemble the particularities of financial markets.

  2. In this way, as Smail points out, marketing oneself and buying others is not obvious only in personal online profiles, but also in the expectations and predetermined search criteria of those searching for romantic partners online. And while these products and processes often appear mystifying, they contain some important unifying features.

  3. Whose fault is it but yours if you fail at Internet dating? When you look for love or sex or companionship online your physical attributes are broken down into their constituent elements hair color, skin color, body shape , your interests declared and differentiated basketball, walking, the novels of Balzac your sexual persuasions and proclivities demanded gay, straight, polyamorous, BDSM, etc.

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