Performing marriage: Marriage renewal rituals as cultural performance

Leslie A. Baxter, Dawn O. Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


This interpretive study examined how the marriage renewal ritual reflects the social construction of marriage in the U.S. Two culturally prominent ideologies of marriage were interwoven in our interviews of 25 married persons who had renewed their marriage vows: (a) a dominant ideology of community and (b) a more muted ideology of individualism. The ideology of community was evidenced by a construction of marriage featuring themes of public accountability, social embeddedness, and permanence. By contrast, the ideology of individualism constructed marriage around themes of love, choice, and individual growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-109
Number of pages16
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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