University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term > The Love Market: How Shopping for Dates Online Affects Women

The Love Market: How Shopping for Dates Online Affects Women

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Meredith M. Hale.

Online daters browse, select, sample and return defective goods, meanwhile constructing and maintaining saleable profiles of themselves. But how accurate is the shopping metaphor? And to what extent and in what ways are female internet daters affected by the experience of being shopped for and of shopping for others? My inquiry focuses on the ways in which the commodification inherent in this system carries particular significance for women, who are more likely to feel commoditised offline and who are also more wary of seeming to “sell themselves short”. I will analyse daters’ responses to a cocktail of semiotic cues urging them to try, amend and keep going; as well as looking at daters’ strategies of resistance to the shopping metaphor. Finally, my research is framed by a historical perspective on the relations between capitalism, consumerism, dating and gender: an essential backdrop to the tensions of the contemporary online dating exchange.

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This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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