This study compares presentational rhetorics in online personal advertisements to articulated rhetorics generated through interviewing sessions to understand rhetorics of online dating. 30 online daters from a metropolitan region of the Midwestern United States (mostly white, aged 25–35, gender diverse) provided a copy of their online personal advertisement and participated in an interview. Personal advertisements and interview transcripts were analyzed separately using values coding to consider rhetorical dimensions. At the beginning of this study a short insight to online self-presentation is presented. Three main categories were analyzed, presentational values, beliefs and attitude vs. articulated values, beliefs and attitude. Although self-presentation and online dating have been successfully studied in a variety of contexts, this manuscript offers entry into a new epistemological realm and, consequently, allows another angle for understanding online dating. Qualitative research is ideal for examining new areas or breaking new ground (Lindlof & Taylor, 2011), and the Mannings study certainly breaks ground by demonstrating how presentational online dating rhetorics relationally compare to articulated rhetoric’s presented in a social order (Manning, 2014).
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