The invisible contours of online dating communities: A social network perspective

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Abstract

This study analyzed the e-mail exchange network of participants of a national dating website. The investigation examined whether aggregated partner preferences give rise to distinct, “invisible,” clusters in online dating networks that structure dating opportunities and result in homophilous subgroups. The findings identified and visualized the ten largest network clusters of participants who interacted with each other and examined the dater characteristics most responsible for cluster membership. Rated attractiveness and age were the strongest cluster correlates, whereas education and race were relatively uncommon determinants. In sum, daters’ interdependent actions created aggregate communities unseen by the users themselves, but no less influential for dating opportunities, that were based more on attractiveness and age than on race and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social Structure
Volume18
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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