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'Europe' Within and Without: Narratives of American Cultural Belonging in and through My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Tzanelli, R (2004) 'Europe' Within and Without: Narratives of American Cultural Belonging in and through My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). Comparative American Studies, 2 (1). 39 - 59 . ISSN 1477-5700

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Abstract

This article examines My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), a Hollywood romantic comedy in which Greek-Americanness features for the first time. Three tropes are debated that are linked to American social and national self-narration: the first is concerned with the assertion of Greek difference within American identity. The second examines the WASP cultural norm which is simultaneously valorized and contested. The third trope, which comprises a strategy of idealization of American identity, purifies American self-narration of its contestable aspects and represses cultural insecurities. The article draws mainly on American responses to the film, in order to understand how cinematic narratives are debated by the audience. It will be argued that the film reproduces a dilemma central to American cultural self-narration. This dilemma is concerned with American self-recognition as 'pure', European, ethnic and multiform, all at the same time.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 11:36
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:35
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1477570004041285
Status: Published
Publisher: Maney publishing
Identification Number: 10.1177/1477570004041285
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43403

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