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A Comparative Study on Eastern and Western Wedding Ceremonies in Korean Films and Hollywood Films

Authors: Timothy Yoonsuk Lee, Joonhyoup Lee, Yoojin Chung


As an adult man and woman love each other and come to have faith in each other as their spouse, they marry each other. Recently people-s economic life has become individualized and women are enjoying a high education level and increased participation in social activities, and these changes are creating environment favorable for single life. Thus, an increasing number of people are choosing celibacy, and many people prefer cohabitation to marriage. Nevertheless, marriage is still regarded as a must-to-do in our thought. Most of people throughout the world admit marriage as one of natural processes of life, and is an important passage rite in life that all people experience as we can see everywhere in the world despite the diversity of lifestyles. With regard to wedding ceremony, however, each country and culture has its own unique tradition and style of festival. It is not just a congratulatory ceremony but contains multiple concepts representing the age, country or culture. Moreover, the form and contents of wedding ceremony changes over time, and such features of wedding ceremony are well represented in films. This study took note of the fact that films reflect and reproduce each country-s historicity, culturality and analyzed four films, which are believed to show differences between Eastern and Western wedding ceremonies. The selected films are: A Perfect Match (2002), Marriage Is a Crazy Thing (2001), Bride Wars (2009) and 27 Dresses (2008). The author attempted to examine wedding ceremonies described in the four films, differences between the East and the West suggested by the films, and changes in their societies.

Keywords: Wedding ceremony, Korean films, Hollywood films, semiotics

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[2] Seon-gi, The Joy of Semiotic Film Analysis, 2007, Communication Books, p.68
[3] Bae Yeong-gi, The History and Culture of Marriage, Korean Studies Information, p.38
[4] Ibid (3)
[5] Kim Hye-gyeong & Jeong Jin-seong, Discourses on Nuclear Family and Colonial Modernism, 2001, Journal of Korean Social Studies, Vol 13, No 1, pp.163-169
[6] Ibid (3) pp.202-203
[7] Park Ho-gang, Park Chung-seon & Jeong Yeong-sook, Sex, Marriage and Family in Contemporary Society, 1999, Taegu University Press, p.197
[8] Ibid (7) p.199.
[9] Ibid (7) p.200.
[10] Song Do-yeong, Kitsch Trends in the Consumption of Ceremonial Spaces: Wedding Halls, 1995, Journal of Korean Cultural Anthropology, Vol 28, p.345
[11] Ibid (3) p.150.
[12] Ahn Jeong-nam, The Meanings of Contemporary Wedding Ceremonies (Capitalistic Market Economy and Marriage) 1991, Seoul: Tomoon, p.171-198