Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher L. Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy M. Hay

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Bradley


This thesis explores the emergence of the Bourgeois culture in Antebellum America during the transition of nineteenth century America into what we refer to as “modern-day America.” This period is crucial in American history as ideological concepts developed as the nation industrialized, thus creating the nation’s identity. In doing so, gender roles were voraciously prescribed with a focus on women’s sexuality as a focal point for Victorian discourse. Unlike prior to the Revolution, which gender roles were previously assumed, by the mid-nineteenth century, modes of surveillance are apparent in sermons, medical treatises, Victorian periodicals and literature, in which ideological productions such as the “cult of true womanhood,” entrenched in Evangelical Christianity became essential to nationalism. This thesis explores the mechanisms of power used to control women, while simultaneously extracting the psychological reasons behind such ideological productions constructed, that elevated women’s role in society as discourse on women’s sexuality and their roles in society became ad infinitum.


Copyright 2021 Miriam Cepeda. All Rights Reserved.

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