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Culture and Matchmaking

In many cultures the match maker is still important person in the coupling of people in many cultures the match maker is still important person in the coupling of people. The role of the match maker is often filled by the parents. But it can so be filled by other family members and friends. And now, more than ever, the role of the match maker is being filled by online services. There are thousands of sites where singles can go to be introduced to other singles. And these sites have become quite sophisticated. Mark Fields oftentimes addresses this issue. Using the data imputed from a person they can create some very close matches for people – at least in theory. But the online services cannot determine the human element in match making.

Claire Rayner argues why we still need the match maker in her article in newstatesman.com. She says: “despite having had a singularly bad press for the past couple of decades, there can be little doubt that the vast majority of US want marriage, or at least a simulacrum of it.” The evidence? The ever-increasing number of so called dating agencies (a check on the web produced more than 13,000 entries for the UK alone) and the blossoming of pages of eager advertisers seeking partners, particularly in upmarket publications such as our own dear new statesman. Two questions beg to answer. Is this a phenomenon of our times? And does it mean that marriage is becoming ever more consumer-driven? In essence, dating agencies are not new. We are a sociable species, fascinated with each other of domestic arrangements. We like nothing better than to curl up in the warm time of the family when the outside world appears hostile (and when does it not?), and therefore have a deep interest in who belongs to that family and how they get to be members of it.