Summary of the PhD Project
Codes of Intimate Advances
In dependence on the classic quote by Erving Goffman, this doctoral project asks: "What is going on when people advance each other intimately?” The dissertation seeks to investigate how overtures are carried out, how feelings of affection and interest are displayed or concealed, which signals of belonging and of one’s interconnection are created before a romantic relationship is established. Research on partnership and love deals with the societal construction of notions of love. Feelings and thoughts, notions of intimacy and intimate behavior, ideas of partnership and family are not expressions of human nature, but – so goes the theory – part of a practice that is predetermined by society and framed by culture. The doctoral project examines how this is executed. With a microscopic gaze, it scrutinizes how humans find each other or how they construct and display their (mutually assumed) match. With an ethnographic approach, the analysis takes a look at the stages before the beginning of a partnership.