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One day my prince will come: the discursive production the desire for (hetero)sexual marriage

James Cook University ePrints (JCU ePrints)

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Title One day my prince will come: the discursive production the desire for (hetero)sexual marriage
Creator Rocco, Sharn
Description During the twentieth century, marriage, as an ideal and as a practice, has endured through vastly different social conditions and codes of sexual conduct. The concern of the author's investigation and analysis is how the discourses of daily life sustain the popularity of marriage as an institution that embeds the gendered 'truths' of science, God and common sense in law (of church and state), and in personal practice. She argues that it is within discourses and storylines, as these are brought to life by the imagination and practice of speaking subjects, that collective experience and its subjective and political effects are produced.

Working from feminist and poststructuralist perspectives, this thesis investigates the complex discursive dynamic of gender difference and the constitution of subjectivity and desire over time. It does this by "making visible" the discursive interpellation of the subject into the romantic storylines of 'one day my prince will come'. The result is a study of the production of gendered subjectivity as "normal" and "natural" and of how, within the interactively discursive contexts of lived experience, conceptions of "normality" become inclusive of the expectation and desire for (hetero)sexual marriage.

The evidence which informs this thesis is drawn from the lives of seventy-three women who contributed to a major research project using the methodology of collective memory work. This project involved participants in writing stories, and talking about incidents from their lived experience which they considered illustrated their subjection within the romantic storyline of 'One day my prince will come'. Biographical and autobiographical in style and intent, this deconstructive work produces a reframing of taken-for-granted understandings of the individual, of gender, of choice and of relations of power.
Date 1999-11
Type Thesis
Format application/pdf
Rocco, Sharn (1999) One day my prince will come: the discursive production the desire for (hetero)sexual marriage. PhD thesis, James Cook University.