“More about me” – Self-Presentation and Narrative Strategies in Caribbean Online Dating Ads

Susanne Mühleisen 1
  • 1 University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

Abstract

This paper focuses on self-presentation in dating ads and the strategies advertisers employ to construct their persona to attract and initiate responses from the desired other. Dating ads have experienced considerable structural changes in their transition from print media to online forms. The use of diverse media and interaction forms as well as extended space has resulted in a diversification of possibilities in online partner search in which advertisers use fragmented stories, past and anticipated narratives in order to construct a basic personal narrative. It is argued here that the act of posting the dating ads also functions as part of the advertisers’ life story with the projected end of finding romance or fulfilling other relational goals. The analysis of examples from a corpus of Caribbean dating ads also shows how advertisers make use of particular cultural references, lexical items and spelling adaptations in their creation of an authentic Caribbean persona and as a means to establish common ground with a potential partner.

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