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Navigating ‘thin’ dating markets: Mid-life repartnering in the era of dating apps and websites


Dwyer, Z and Hookway, N and Robards, B, Navigating thin' dating markets: Mid-life repartnering in the era of dating apps and websites, Journal of Sociology pp. 1-17. ISSN 1440-7833 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783320948958


This article is a qualitative analysis of how people aged in their 30s and 40s use dating apps and websites to repartner following relationship separation or divorce. While ‘mid-life’ is a period of significant relationship churn, there is little sociological research that addresses how people in this age group use digital dating technologies to repartner. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with a small group of Australians, the article shows how dating technologies help ‘thicken’ thin dating markets associated with time pressures and access to the night economy, but also loss and convergence of friendship networks unique to mid-life. The study highlights the impact of gender on digital repartnering experiences, particularly experiences of online safety, and introduces the concept of ‘emotional filtering’ to describe how past relationships specifically shape the repartnering process for this middle-aged group.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:emotions, dating apps, divorce, gender, intimacy, online dating, repartnering, separation
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Dwyer, Z (Mr Zack Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Hookway, N (Dr Nicholas Hookway)
ID Code:140945
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-09-15
Last Modified:2021-07-22

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