COMM3131 Special Topic in Communication Studies I: Online Dating and Hook-up Culture

Course COMM3131 Special Topic in Communication Studies I: Online Dating and Hook-up Culture
Class Time Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 16:30 – 19:15 (GMT+8)
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Teacher Professor Lik Sam CHAN
Course Description The instructor will lecture on and direct the study of a topic in Communication Studies that he or she specializes in. Students are allowed to take this Special Topic course at most twice, and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, students cannot take courses with the same course code more than once in a single term.


Grindr, Tinder, Momo—familiar with these smartphone apps? It is estimated, in 2021, that there are 9.7 million online dating users in the United Kingdom; across the Atlantic Ocean, the number is 49 million in the United States; China alone has 81.8 million users. This course provides an interdisciplinary perspective to look into one of the latest and most controversial online cultures—online dating and hookups. Departing from the public health approach that focuses exclusively on sexually transmitted diseases via the use of dating apps, this course examines the communicative, social, and cultural aspects of online dating and hookup cultures. Topics include online relationship development, motivations of app use, app design, gender politics, and queer world-making. Regional cases will be discussed.
Course Outline/Syllabus Download


Professor Lik Sam CHAN is an Assistant Professor at the CUHK School of Journalism and Communication. He has been researching online dating and hookup cultures since 2013, taking an interdisciplinary and global approach. His research areas include motivations behind dating app use, gender and queer politics embedded in dating app cultures, and, more recently, political expression in online dating. He received his PhD in communication from the University of Southern California and MA in cultural studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. During off-time, he bakes, watches Netflix, and thinks about what kind of dogs he should get in the future.