English | Projects in Reading and Writing
W170 | 1824 | Lauren Curtright


Topic:  MARRIAGE IN POPULAR CULTURE

While marriage has always been popular in Hollywood,
late-twentieth-century America witnessed some critiques of marriage in
popular culture -- consider, for instance, the positive portrayals of
unmarried women in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Murphy Brown," or
the dark portrayal of heterosexual marriage in the Woody Allen film
"Husbands and Wives."  Now, marriage seems to be making a strong
comeback in American popular culture.  Recent movies such as "The
Wedding Planner," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and "Monsoon Wedding"
celebrate marriage, and the latest seasons of the NBC sitcom "Friends"
suggest that even 'hip' early thirtysomethings consider it desirable
to marry.  At the same time, documentaries like "Married in America"
and "Wedding Advice:  Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" relay that
there is still a competing, more critical attitude toward marriage
occurring in our culture.  In this section of W170, students will be
asked to investigate various popular representations of marriage in
order to address the following questions:  in what ways and to what
extent are these representations of marriage (1) reformulating
conventional gender roles and normative sexualities and (2) working to
redefine the cultural meaning and significance of marriage in America?