Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Kathleen Torrens


This study was undertaken to determining whether surname choice of women who kept their name after marriage was a rhetorical choice. Five women provided a written narrative of their choice to retain their birth surname upon marriage. Investigators aimed to determine themes present in the narratives provided, and compare them to themes identified in previous studies. Analysis revealed evidence that the choice to keep their names was a rhetorical choice. Underlying this choice was the intent to be perceived as independent women with personal and professional identities. Pride in cultural and familial traditions was also apparent, as was a belief in non-traditional marital roles, an unwillingness to accept the ideographic role of "wife".



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