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Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


The film Loving (2016) portrays the true story of the Loving v. Virginia (1967) plaintiffs as a narrative that individualizes the struggle against institutionalized oppression and a story of a couple’s love. This paper analyzes how (1) the narrative elements in the film Loving (2016) influences the viewer’s social acceptance towards interracial marriage; (2) the film’s depiction of Mildred Loving’s role in the advocacy towards interracial marriage; and (3) explains how film narratives can challenge dominant hegemonic discourse. To answer, this paper uses two theories from the field of communication studies to examine these questions and provide solutions. The use of narrative criticism and feminist standpoint theory are used as theoretical and methodological tools of analysis to understand the film Loving (2016). Additionally, this paper will include the history of the Loving v. Virginia (1967) plaintiff’s case and scenes from Loving (2016). The outcome when critically analyzed shows the powerful influence narratives regarding social issues can influence viewers’ opinions on social issues. Last, this research approach is of importance to communication scholars because of the attentiveness it gives to how a character in a movie can explain pushback of dominant hegemonic discourse.

First Advisor

Jill Tyler

Second Advisor

Kelly McKay-Semmler

Research Area

Communication Studies