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White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  164 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 12th 1999 by Routledge
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Feb 25, 2009 Alex rated it really liked it
Five stars for concept, four for research, two for execution. This is a first-of-its-kind critique of the wedding-industrial complex from the perspective of feminist sociology. Ingraham methodically examines the way the image of the "white wedding" is used as a gateway for power and privilege in US society, and the ways in which it excludes those that society keeps disempowered. Starting from popular culture and advertising to children, she traces the way that women in our society are conditione ...more
Shannon Wyss
Feb 29, 2012 Shannon Wyss rated it really liked it
An excellent, if somewhat outdated, feminist analysis of the institution of heterosexual weddings. Ingraham does a great job breaking down how and why traditional weddings, as they are currently practiced in the US, are a sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic institution.

Published in 1999, the book is outdated today. While the gist of her argument remains sadly relevant in 2012, i would love to see what an updated book would look like, especially with the movement for marriage equality/marria
Molly Voorheis
Jun 27, 2015 Molly Voorheis rated it really liked it
I do, I do! Ingraham's "White Weddings" is the academic's version of a "Say Yes to the Dress" marathon. The 15-year-old book's film and TV examples ("Ellen," "Suddenly Susan") feel dated, and the references to the role of gay men in media representations of weddings needs to be updated now that same-sex marriage is legal (always a bridal planner, never a bride!).

But the analysis of the NY Times wedding announcements is fun, and terms like "the spectacle of accumulation" and "heterosexual imagina
Sep 27, 2007 Marnie rated it liked it
this book is good but pretty obvious. wedding industrial complex = bad, bad for finances, bad for women, bad for men, reinforces heteronormativity, with lots of statistics and hilariously upsetting anecdotes to back it up. i get it. plus, the text was often printed over greyed out pictures of ladies in wedding dresses which made it hard to read. all i got out of it is that i was normal to not be interested in planning a future wedding when i was 6...or even now.
Jun 12, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: non-food-non-lit
An interesting study on our cultural obsession with weddings, particularly "white weddings" that Ingraham claims fuel capitalistic pursuits while marginalizing all who aren't white and wealthy, this was a reasonably quick and thought-provoking read. While I am always up for arguments based in critique of consumer culture, capitalism and/or materialism, I still can't help but feel that there is something magical about weddings that doesn't need to be demonized...
Jan 24, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it
I read this in college in my Sociology of the Family class. It really made me think twice about getting married, at least in the traditional sense. This book explores our cultures obsession with weddings and studies how the wedding industry plays a role in capitalism, the myth of white supremacy, and the fairy-tale romance being manufactured and sold to us by Disney. A great read!!!
Jun 13, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are unsure about getting married
Convinced me not to.

One of the best parts of the book is the list of Hollywood movies containing the words "bride" or "wedding" in the title. In the past century, there's been at least 200. Also, her breakdown in the cost of the average wedding and the revenue raked in by what she calls The Wedding Industrial Complex. Really fascinating stuff.
May 08, 2009 Kitty rated it liked it
This book gives an insight on how did wedding become so extravagant, and why we "Girls" perceived wedding as the "dream comes true."

Although the structure of this book is like a text-book more than a novel. But, it is intriguing how and why did we, women suck into this multi-billion dollars industry.
Very readable book on the heteronormative privilege that is performed via the American "wedding-industrial-complex." Based on Lacan's idea of the imaginary, but you don't have to know anything about Lacan to get something out of this. I thought it was pretty rad, but I am heathenistic like that.
Jul 22, 2012 Jo added it
Really loved this analysis of the wedding in contemporary culture.
Jan 09, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, 2011
This book is great for those of us who view wedding traditions with a critical eye and understand the various privleges that exists in this rite of passage.
Mar 09, 2014 Kels added it
Shelves: nonfiction, whitman
Gender and Society
Nov 11, 2008 Leigh rated it liked it
The information is good, but the formatting/book design is terrible. Difficult to read/hold.
Feb 25, 2016 Marijah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Needs a new edition that reflects today's reality of homosexual "white weddings" taking place alongside the heterosexual ones.
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