USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Kelly Iceton

First Advisor

Carolyn Eichner, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Women's Studies

Second Advisor

Raymond Arsenault, Ph.D. Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Third Advisor

Jessica Cabness, Ph.D., LCSW Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



The topic for my thesis is a critique of traditional American "white" weddings and the associated fairytale imagery using a materialist feminist approach. The idea for this topic came to fruition after a classroom discussion regarding a single patriarchal wedding custom sparked my interest in researching the ways in which weddings validate and reinforce traditions that symbolize women's secondary status in society. I wanted to explore each aspect of the mainstream American wedding- the traditional, "white" wedding. Upon delving into the scholarly research on the subject, it became apparent that only a few ctitical examinations of weddings existed and no single body of work combined all of the elements involved in the ideological creation of the traditional "white" wedding. After perusing through various primary and secondary resources, I started to recognize the complex interplay between history, popular culture, and capitalism and their combined role in perpetuating rituals of subordination obscured by notions of romance and fantasy.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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