Adelman 1992: 460) remain unfulfilled. The growth of commercialised social

introduction services in recent times can be considered symptomatic of theoretical

claims for the move to a ‘consumer culture’; the increasing rise of the market mode

of provision is leading to the ‘incorporation of new domains into the commodity

market’, ‘reconstructing social life on a market basis’ (Fairclough 1995: 141) and

creating a ‘new’ breed of consumer. It is argued that free from any external social

forces, ‘enterprising selves’ have a responsibility to find meaning and existence by

shaping specific lives through ‘autonomous’ acts of choice (Bauman 1988). This

shaping and fulfilment of the life project of the self is greatly facilitated by the ‘self

help’ services provided by the market (Rose 1992: 142). Involuntary singleness

increasingly becomes a ‘personal’ problem and its solution a ‘matter for oneself’

that market intermediaries can alleviate. Or can they?