Mobile Romance: Tinder and the Navigation of Masculinity
Whilst online dating has witnessed a dramatic rise in popularity as a form of dating, the incredibly fast rise of mobile applications points to a new method of relationship initiation. This chapter explores the accounts of 15 heterosexual young men aged 18–24. Using Tinder as a case study, this chapter argues that the affordances of the app create the possibilities of how mobile romance is experienced. The chapter begins by documenting these affordances that include Spatial Blurring , the Democratization of dating, Multimodal dating and Accelerated Elongated dating. The chapter then explores the interplay between these affordances and masculinity, first by highlighting how patriarchal norms become articulated through the marketization and gamification of dating and second, by exploring young men’s management of dating failure through self-sabotage and effortless achievement, personal branding and Facebook stalking. The chapter concludes by arguing that Tinder and mobile dating apps more broadly are relatively new practices and that young men and women will continue to learn how to use them and continue to develop their impact on gender relations.
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