Something old, something new: Bricolage and wedding traditions

Carter, J. (2016) Something old, something new: Bricolage and wedding traditions. In: One-day symposium: ‘Something old, Something New: the Wedding Spectacle Across Contemporary Media Cultures’, 16th September, 2016, University of Leicester.

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Abstract

While the wedding spectacle grows in British culture, there is a simultaneous erosion of marriage rates, which have once again started to decline. At the same time, what we understand as the ‘traditional white wedding’ is not (and has never been) necessary for marriage, and yet weddings appear to be growing in size, cost and exposure. Thus weddings have become more prominent, both as social aspiration and as popular culture. The question is, why have a wedding, especially an ornate, expensive and time consuming wedding, when there appears to be little social need to do so? Similarly, weddings have never been more free from cultural norms and official control - so why do these supposedly unique and deeply personal events usually replay the same prescribed (gendered) roles, events and assumed traditions? Using findings from a small-scale qualitative study, this paper will attempt to provide some initial answers to these questions. I will focus on three main points: the reworking of tradition, including traditional gender norms, in creating weddings; areas of resistance to this and individualisation in wedding practices; and the ways in which tradition and innovation are combined to produce the modern wedding spectacle. Crucially, the paper aims to draw out the processes of bricolage that individuals use to combine and reinvent traditions in weddings and how this produces ‘individualised conformity’- an idea of individuality but conformity of practice: weddings which look remarkably similar.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Julia Carter
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2016 09:59
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 09:59
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14987

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00