Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jill Tyler


ABSTRACT The film Loving (2016) portrays the true story of the Loving v. Virginia (1967) plaintiffs in a narrative that individualizes the struggle against institutionalized oppression through a story of a couple’s love. This paper will show how (1) the narrative elements in the film Loving (2016) combine to influence the viewer’s understanding of social acceptance of interracial marriage in the United States; (2) the film’s depiction of Mildred Loving’s role in advocating for interracial marriage demonstrates the significant tenets of standpoint theory. This paper uses narrative criticism (Fisher, 1985) as a method of analysis and feminist standpoint theory (Harding, 1986) from the field of communication studies to examine the film Loving (2016). Additionally, this paper will include the history of the Loving v. Virginia (1967) plaintiff’s case and illustrative scenes from Loving (2016). When critically examined, this analysis shows the powerful influence of narratives in influencing viewers’ opinions on social issues. Keywords: interracial marriage, Loving (2016), Loving v. Virginia (1967), narrative criticism, feminist standpoint theory, film


feminist standpoint theory, film, interracial marriage, Loving (2016), Loving v. Virginia (1967), narrative criticism

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota