John Wiley & Sons The New Laws of Love Cover Online dating has become a widespread feature of modern social life. In less than two decades, seeki.. Product #: 978-1-5095-4352-6 Regular price: $18.60 $18.60 Auf Lager

The New Laws of Love

Online Dating and the Privatization of Intimacy

Bergström, Marie


1. Auflage Dezember 2021
200 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-5095-4352-6
John Wiley & Sons

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Online dating has become a widespread feature of modern social life. In less than two decades, seeking partners through commercial intermediaries went from being a marginal and stigmatized practice to being a common activity. How can we explain this rapid change and what does it tell us about the changing nature of love and sexuality?

In contrast to those who praise online dating as a democratization of love and those who condemn it as a commodification of intimacy, this book tells a different story about how and why online dating became big. The key to understanding the growing prevalence of digital dating lies in what Marie Bergström calls "the privatization of intimacy." Online dating takes courtship from the public to the private sphere and makes it a domestic and individual practice. Unlike courtship in traditional settings such as school, work, and gatherings of family and friends, online dating makes a clear distinction between social and sexual sociability and renders dating much more discrete. Apparently banal, this privatizing feature is fundamental for understanding both the success and the nature of digital matchmaking. Bergström also sheds light on the persisting inequalities of intimate life, showing that online dating is neither free nor fair: it has its winners and losers and it differs significantly according to gender, age and social class.

Drawing on a wide range of empirical material, this book challenges what we think we know about online dating and gives us a new understanding of who, why, and how people go online to seek sex and love.


List of Figures

List of Surveys


PART 1 The Privatization of Dating

Chapter 1. The History of Matchmaking

Chapter 2. Dating Technicians

Chapter 3. The keys to success

Chapter 4. Time for Sex and Love

PART 2 Unequal Before the Laws of Love

Chapter 5. Class at first sight

Chapter 6. The Age of singles

Chapter 7. Digital double standards

Conclusion. Private matters

"A refreshing lack of hysteria about the impact the internet has had on our sex lives."
The Guardian

"The New Laws of Love is an insightful deep dive into the world of digitally mediated dating. Bergström eloquently and convincingly navigates a nuanced path between moral decline theses on the one side and uncritical celebrations of online dating on the other, to reach evidence-based conclusions and analyses."
Brady Robards, Monash University
Marie Bergström is a researcher at the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), Paris.