Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Feldner, Sarah B.

Second Advisor

Nettleton, Pamela H.

Third Advisor

Pauly, John

Abstract

Women with a self-identified infertility status sometimes choose to address this status by seeking medical intervention. There are a variety of methods available when attempting to conceive using medical treatments, with the choice heavily dependent on the health of each partner. A common first approach by reproductive endocrinologists is that of intrauterine insemination, or IUI. Women undergoing IUI invest significant time and money into the process and often must undergo procedures or take medication that can be enormously distressing. Once the IUI is complete, the woman must wait an emotional two weeks before she finds out if she is pregnant or not. One important way women are dealing with the emotional turmoil inherent in the two-week wait, 2WW, is through online participation in topically organized forums devoted to this specific timeframe. As such, this study uses a constant comparative method to analyze how identities are constructed in two-week wait, 2WW, online forums. My findings yield women willing to construct support giving and support seeking identities to be a part of their current in-group, those in 2WW forums, inasmuch as it will help them get into their desired out-group—the currently pregnant.

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