Modern Romance: An Investigation

Aziz Ansari, with Eric Klinenberg. Penguin Press, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59420-627-6
Inspired by his own romantic woes, comedian Ansari teamed up with sociologist Klinenberg in 2013 to design and conduct a research project to better understand the dating game as it’s played today. This book collects the insights gleaned from a variety of research methods: focus groups in major cities around the world, crowdsourcing on the website Reddit. Ansari addresses the effects of technology on modern relationships with an amusing historical overview, beginning with the classified ads and video dating services of the 1980s and ’90s, before chronicling the rise of industry giants such as Match.com and Tinder. He also dives into the sociological theory at play, discussing “the paradox of choice,” the differences between “companionate” and “soul mate” marriages, and a generational conversation spurred by a visit to a retirement community. The book is steeped in pop culture, featuring examples from the popular Tumblr “Straight White Boys Texting,” sex columnist Dan Savage’s thoughts on open relationships, and Ansari’s personal dating maxim, hilariously dubbed “the Flo Rida Theory of Acquired Likability Through Repetition.” Despite Ansari’s insistence otherwise, most of this material has been covered exhaustively elsewhere, but Ansari’s oddball sense of humor does bring something new and refreshing to the conversation. Agent: Richard Abate, 3Arts Entertainment. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 06/16/2015
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-425-3
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-698-17996-7
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