Long Doan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on social psychological processes underpinning patterns of inequality. Current projects examine the emotional consequences of time use, responses to identity threats, and attitudes toward gender and sexuality.
You can read more information about Professor Doan, view his current projects as well as his CV, here. Talk title and abstract are below. Please join us if you are available, light lunch will be served.
Title: Standing Out in the Dating Game: How Local Dating Markets Shape Internet Daters’ Self-Presentation Strategies
Abstract: The Internet has become one of the primary ways in which heterosexual and same-sex couples meet. As such, scholars are increasingly interested in how social factors like race, gender, and education affect processes of mate selection online. Yet, social scientists know relatively little about how Internet daters strategically present themselves in online dating markets to try increase their perceived attractiveness to potential suitors. Using data from a sample of over 250,000 online dating profiles across the top 50 metropolitan areas in the United States, we present a content analysis of users’ profiles to address this question. Analyses are based on a Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) framework and examine how structural factors such as dating market competitiveness (i.e., how many other users share similar characteristics to a given user) affect how users choose to present themselves in their online profiles. We also examine whether and how users who seek same-sex and different-sex partners differ in their self-presentation strategies. In doing so, we can speak to theoretical debates surrounding homogamy and how social context may shape mating patterns identified in prior work.