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25-Aug-2020 15:02

If you are familiar with computer programming terminology, you can liken dating to a sub-routine that has been added to the system of courtship.

Over the course of this two-part article, I would like to trace how this change occurred, especially concentrating on the origin of this dating “subroutine.” Let me begin by briefly suggesting four cultural forces that assisted in moving from, as Alan Carlson puts it, the more predictable cultural script that existed for several centuries, to the multi-layered system and (I think most would agree) the more ambiguous courtship system that includes “the date.” The first, and probably most important change we find in courtship practices in the West occurred in the early 20th century when courtship moved from public acts conducted in private spaces (for instance, the family porch or parlor) to private or individual acts conducted in public spaces, located primarily in the entertainment world, as Beth Bailey argues in her book, .

Since most young adults will marry, the process employed in finding a husband and wife is still considered courtship.

However, an extra layer, what we call “dating,” has been added to the process of courting.

The agency also gathers data through more than 100 other surveys of households and businesses every one to five years.

Criminologists compare, contrast, and analyze data from these two sources to identify and assess current crime trends in the United States.

The United States Census Bureau provides data about the nation’s people and economy.