Mate Choice in an Online Dating Site
Kevin Lewis, Berkman Center Fellow
Tuesday, February 14, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.
The 21st century has witnessed a transformation of the American dating scene: Online dating—previously a marginalized social practice—has skyrocketed in popularity to become one of the primary ways that singles meet and mate today. While clearly an empirical topic worthy of study in its own right, data from online dating sites also offer an unprecedented opportunity to address questions of longstanding interest to social scientists. In this talk, I introduce a new social network dataset based on behavioral data from a popular online dating site; discuss the utility of these data for understanding the shape of contemporary stratification systems; and provide a first look at the dynamics of inequality, exclusion, and gender asymmetry that characterize the early stages of mate choice.
Kevin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Over the past several years he has overseen the development of a new cultural, multiplex, and longitudinal social network dataset using data from Facebook. This dataset has given rise to a number of collaborative projects exploring the intersection of social networks, cultural tastes (with Jason Kaufman and Marco Gonzalez), race/ethnicity (with Andreas Wimmer), and online privacy. Other current projects include a comparative study of culture in action in the context of contemporary tattooing; an analysis of reciprocity and dominance in a gang homicide network (with Andrew Papachristos); and an exploration of the "structure of activism" based on the Save Darfur campaign (with Jens Meierhenrich). His dissertation examines stratification in the early stages of mate choice using data from a popular online dating site.