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Tradition Never Goes Out of Style: The Role of Tradition in Women's Naming Practices

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The goal of this project is to explore why, given United States women's historical struggle to gain legal and social acceptance of nontraditional naming forms, the overwhelming majority of women continue to follow tradition and adopt their husbands' names upon marriage. To begin to explain this phenomenon, this study focused on Catholic women, who changed their names between 1940 and 1998. This article illustrates the role tradition plays in participants' worldview and how tradition influences their behavior and attitudes toward naming practices. The naming behaviors and attitudes of the women in this study are then analyzed within a larger sociocultural and political context.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Communication Studies,University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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