Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Marybeth C. Stalp


This research compares social and cultural myths about the prom with the reality of the high school prom experience. Data include content analysis of prom-related popular media, and ten qualitative interviews with individuals aged 20-25 about their high school prom experiences. Perceptions of what prom is supposed to be like are influence heavily by the media; study participants' real prom experiences were quite different. Additionally, participants' prom experiences related less with popular media depictions and more with their actual social status in high school culture. Findings support that the media present a narrow, idealized depiction of the prom that rarely reflects the actual prom experiences of American teenagers.

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (57 pages)