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From Front Porch To Backseat: The History Of Dating

1386 words - 6 pages

Belongingness is an emotion that everyone longs to feel throughout the course of their lives. Starting in adolescence, we as humans are naturally attracted to others in a romantic way. Girls in junior high start wearing make-up and dressing nice in order to impress the boys and get their attention. During this time, both girls and boys want a boyfriend or girlfriend, and are interested in this idea of “dating.” As boys and girls progress into high school, dating becomes even more of the thing to do. As a young teenager, I wanted to date, but my parents were against it. Many parents have a negative outlook about dating because of the consequences it may lead to, mainly sexual activity. Some believe that dating has changed drastically for the worse, but Beth Bailey believes differently. In Bailey’s article entitled “From Front Porch to Backseat: A History of the Date,” she analyzes the history of dating and how numerous people have not conceptualized this idea correctly. By showing authority, evidence, and values, Bailey presents an effective argument about the history of dating.
Beth Bailey published the article “From Front Porch to Backseat: The History of Dating” in the magazine titled “OAH Magazine of History” in the July 2004 issue. This excerpt comes from her book, From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in the Twentieth-Century America. Bailey is a social/cultural historian of the 20th century United States. She is employed with Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, her area of research focusing on the history of gender and sexuality and on war and society/military institutions in the U.S. history. Bailey has published numerous other books that have received high ratings. In the article, Bailey presents some areas of bias, such as race and sexual orientation. She does not include any other races besides non-Latino whites, and it was clear that all of the couples spoken of were heterosexual. She also only wrote of “traditional” relationships. Her authority, knowledge, and experience empower the article, but the little bias that is presented may offend some.
The audience that Bailey projected this article to consists of readers interested in dating and the history of the date. By reading the article, we can conclude that Bailey makes numerous assumptions about the audience. She first assumes that the audience is interested in the action of dating and believes in the concept of dating, marriage, and relationships. Another assumption that Bailey asserts is that the reader is interested in the heterosexual history of dating. She lacks in presenting the homosexual history of dating. The last assumptions introduced consist of reader believing that dating bettered in earlier days, and that the audience does not know the true time-line of the date. Some assumptions she made may have impact on the effectiveness of the article to some readers.
The initial claim that Bailey presents to the audience is that we should look at the...

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