First Advisor

Peter C. Ehrenhaus

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Metaphor, Marriage, Interpersonal conflict



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 72 p.)


This thesis investigates metaphoric structure revealed during discussions about conflict, and poses the general question: What conceptual metaphors do married individuals use to structure their marital conflict? Theoretical issues of metaphor analysis and general issues of conflict management are reviewed, providing a background for the study's approach to data collection and analysis. Eight married individuals were interviewed. Interviews were tape recorded. The interview schedule was structured around issues of topic, setting, process, response, and communication of typical, as well as a most recent, marital conflict. More specific probing followed respondents' comments. Using techniques of interpretive analysis, transcripts from the interviews were analyzed for emergent metaphors. Data from the transcripts coalesced around the topics of structural, ontological, and orientational metaphors. Implications for conflict management and marital counseling are discussed. Finally, in view of the study's limitations and strengths, the thesis concludes with suggested directions for future research.


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