Aziz Ansari is a popular comedian and actor, most known for his role on “Parks and Recreation” and his new Netflix original series, “Master of None.” In 2015, he wrote a book that looks like a memoir on the outside, but is a sociological research project on the inside.
Ansari teamed with New York University professor and sociologist Eric Klinenberg, and through international interviews and focus groups, a Reddit forum and surveys, the two men found data regarding both the pleasures and perils of dating in today’s world. The book that resulted from the research project is hilarious, thought-provoking and eye-opening all at the same time.
I will not lie, I picked up this book thinking it was going to be a hilarious memoir written by an actor who has always held a special place in my heart. After reading the synopsis on the inside jacket, though, I felt even more drawn to reading this book.
“Modern Romance” explores the differences between the past and present forms of dating, as well as the way people meet and interact in today’s world. It tackles the issue of cheating and the fact that people are deciding to get married at older ages nowadays.
One thing the project did not talk about, however, is modern romance in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community because as Ansari states, the research and book would have been much more extensive had they included that aspect.
Being a sociology major and possible future sociological researcher, I found myself wanting to further the research done by Ansari and Klinenberg by the time I finished reading the book, especially focusing on the LGBT community.
What I love about this book, aside from the sociology it deals with, is that Ansari includes his own personal experiences all throughout the text, and the result is hilarious and insightful. At times, it reads like a memoir, but one that includes social science.
“Modern Romance” may seem like a niche read, but it is a comical and eye-opening piece of work that will hopefully stimulate discussion and further research about the way we date. It is a fun college read that will not disappoint. Maybe you will even finish the book thinking about the way you tackle modern romance.