Digital Project Draft: 1970-1989 Dating & Relationship Timeline

            Hi all! Just a quick recap. I’m using TimelineJS by KnightLab to analyze how dating and relationship advice literature changed from 1970 to 1989 and understand how gender roles transform overtime and what that says about increasing gender equality during these two decades. I focus solely on dating and relationship advice literature. Advice literature encompasses etiquette, dating, mating and marriage counseling guides. Moreover, there is advice literature included that is more indirect. Rather than telling readers, particularly women, how to be in various romantic situations, the authors provide experiences by which women can relate to and reevaluate their relationships, allowing them to learn and be guided by others’ romantic endeavors. This digital timeline analyzes three advice literatures from the 1970s, and four from 1980s to gather content from multiple points across the two decades.

My first timeline entry is an overview of the project. My second entry gives background for why this time of change emerged as well as my argument. Following that, each advice literature appears on the timeline at the year of its publication. Prior to the analysis of each book, I give a brief summary. Then, I highlight how key themes or components of romantic relationships are discussed within the literature itself and what that says about gender roles in that year. Since the timeline is most effective when not overloaded with content, for each advice literature, I only include a single quote for each of the six themes I highlight as key to defining dating and relationship social practices. So that’s six quotes, at the most, per book since each advice literature will not speak to all of these themes; some will only address one or two, but as a group they piece together the puzzle of transforming dating and relationship practices over the course of these two decades. The themes I highlight are, one, the value of women’s looks versus personality and intelligence; two, who initiates and leads in relationships; three, who pays on dates; four, adapting to the man versus women’s self-care; and five, consent and respect. I conclude my timeline, summarizing the thematic connections between each of the books and what this says about changing gender roles over the course of the 1970s and 1980s.

Here is a link to my timeline in progress:


My roadmap:

I have already included the pictures of the book covers (and backs for background on each entry) for each source so as to provide a visual aspect to the timeline. I am currently gathering the information and have inputted pieces that I have already written, such as why I am writing this and my argument. I have read through four out of seven advice literatures, pinpointing the various themes that emerge throughout, as mentioned above. I have begun writing two of the sources, piecing together all the relationship components they hit upon. I plan to continue reading the final two books within the week. From there, I will analyze the rest of the sources and input the content into the timeline excel spreadsheet.

2 Replies to “Digital Project Draft: 1970-1989 Dating & Relationship Timeline”

  1. This is looking really great! The timeline works well and the styles, images, and text all look really good.

    I think the text you have written for these is also solid. I like the way you have pulled out themes in each of the books in sub heads. It is very readable that way.

    That is to say you are on a great trajectory to successfully complete your project.

    In looking at the timeline, one thought I had was that you have a relatively small number of entries and for each you have a good bit of narrative text. To that end, I think it may also be worth considering and exploring what it would look like to set up a wordpress site where you make each of these entries it’s own page on the site and include the full text there, and then potentialy make the timeline version of this have shorter text associated with it. The Timeline JS platform doesn’t really lend itself as well to presentation of the kind of short essays you have worked up here, which I think might well read better as pages on a wordpress site. That’s just something to consider, not anything you would need to act on.

    Again, great work! Excited to see the project worked to completion.

  2. Thank you so much for your feedback professor! I do see your point and if I made a wordpress site I could link the timeline to it and same for each of the timeline entries to the wordpress pages. I like the idea! For now I will focus on completing the timeline itself and depending on time, I can attempt a complimentary wordpress site. Thank you!

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