2DatingDating is a social behavior that is familiar to the vast majority of Americans, especially teenagers.Dating or the meeting of people as a romantic engagement is found in societies that allow individuals to choose their own marriage partners.In some societies marriages are arranged by parents and in some cases spouses do not even see each other until their wedding day.Dating is a relatively new phenomenon.Sociologists took in interest in this in the last 60 years.
3Courtship and DatingPrior to the idea of dating, unmarried men and women engaged in courtshipCourtship: differs from dating in that courtship’s express purpose is eventual marriage.Dating’s main purpose is entertainment, amusement, and possibly a relationship at the early stages.Dating is the means through which most people eventually select their partners.Therefore we see this process as a continuum.
4Dating ContinuumThe continuum begins with casual dating, progresses to steady dating, and then moves to engagement and eventually marriage.As you move along the continuum, the commitment given to the relationship increases.Interaction may stop at any time and stages may be bypassed. The relationship is a flexible one.The courtship system was not a flexible one.
5Courtship and DatingCourtship was not casual, it was somewhere between steady dating and engagement.Roles were strictly defined.To court a woman, a young man had to do several things…The young man was expected to first meet the parents and ask permission.It was also expected that the man’s intention would be honorable and above all marriage minded.
6Courtship and DatingCourtship was usually conducted in the in the parlor of the woman’s home under close supervision or in a social situation among a group of people.If the relationship continued for any length of time, marriage was expected.Young people did have fun together during courtship but its main purpose was to find a spouse.This is the history of where dating came from.
7The Emergence of Dating The timing of marriage prior to the industrialization was based on when a man acquired the property necessary to support a family.Because parents decided when to give son’s a portion of their property, parents exercised control over the marriage choice of their children.
8The Emergence of Dating During the industrial revolution, families moved away from farms and into the cities.Young adults became less dependent on their parents.They could seek employment away from the family farm and establish their own household.Free public secondary school also helped pave the way for dating.Public schools were co-educational which meant that young people men and women spent most of their day together.
9Dating EmergesAfter World War I, dating became even more widespread with the invention of the telephone and the automobile.These two inventions gave young people more freedom of movement.The 1920’s was also a time of increased social and political equality for women.Dating became a much more practical idea then courtship because of the increased interaction between men and women.
10Willard WalterStatus attainment and excitement were at the center of the dating process.Partners were selected on the basis of status characteristics such as good looks, nice clothes, and popularity.To be seen with a person of a lower status could damage an individual’s social standing.Many similarities exist between characteristics searched for in a date and a mate.
11HomogamyThe tendency of individuals to marry people who have social characteristics similar to their own.Is this still true today?Do you follow this rule?
12Why Date? Dating serves several purposes for adolescents. EntertainmentMechanism of SocializationPsychological needsStatus attainmentSpouse selectionEntertainmentYoung people have fun (casual dating)Mechanism of SocializationTeaches individuals about members of the opposite sex and how to behave in social situations.Also helps people learn appropriate role behaviors and to define self concepts
13Why Date? Spouse selection Psychological Needs ConversationCompanionshipUnderstandingStatus attainmentIn society you are judged by whom you dateThis can raise your status based on who you dateSpouse selectionLater in the dating processIn casual dating entertainment and status may be important but as time moves on socialization and companionship take more importance.
14Dating PatternsTraditional dating patterns can still be found in small town America today.Under this system the responsibility for arranging the date fell to the man.He was expected to contact the intended partner, suggest a time and a place for the date, select the activity and pay for any expenses.This was quite ritualized. Both parties knew what was expected of them.
15Older Dating PatternsPressure to conform was strong and behavior that was not in line with this was met with sharp disapproval.Established timetables for dating were established.If Wednesday was the designated day for arranging Sat. night dates then to call later then that would be met with rejection.Accepting a date later than that often meant that a young man choose a woman that was not his first choice.Those who did not have dates often hid in their rooms in shame because it was tied to social status.
16Dating PatternsIn the early stages of a relationship certain activities such as going to the movies or a sporting event.This type of activity lessoned the stress of dating.They could focus on the event if interaction was strained.If the relationship continued over time, steady dating became the next step.This type of dating carried with it a formal set of expectations and commitments.
17Steady DatingAs a visible symbol of this commitment the young man often gave a woman his class ring, identification bracelet, or a letter jacket.This was socialization for marriage.Contemporary DatingSince 1960 dating has not followed such dating rules.There are no set stages of dating.Both men and women initiate dating.Either partner can pay for both or his or her own way.
18Contemporary DatingToday dating is based more on friendship and the group, than on the couple.It is less often that men feel the need to provide a line to sell themselves with.Read page 134 about the Amish dating rituals