'Quality singles': Internet dating and the work of fantasy

  • Arvidsson A
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Abstract

This article builds on a case study of the worldwide online dating site Match.com to develop a theoretical understanding of the place of communication and affect inthe information economy. Drawing on theoretical debates, secondary sources, a qualitative survey of dating profiles and an analysis of the features and affordances of the Match.com site, the article argues that internet dating seeks to guide the technologically enhanced communicative and affective capacities of internet users to work in ways so that this produces economically valuable content. This is primarily achieved through branding, which as a technique of governance that seeks to work ‘from below’ and ‘empower’ users to deploy their freedom in certain particular, pre-programmed ways. The argument is that online dating provides a good illustration of how the information economy actively subsumes communicative action as a form of immaterial labour.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Dating
  • Immaterial labour
  • Information economy
  • Love
  • Online relationships

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Authors

  • Adam Arvidsson

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