Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Sociology, MA

Committee Chair

Taniguchi, Hiromi

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Christopher, Karen

Committee Member

Gagne, Patricia

Author's Keywords

marriage; international students; transnational methodology; gender; cultural pressures; hybrid pattern and de-traditionalization


Although there exists a breadth of literature on Americans’ marital aspirations and experiences, there is a significant lack of research available on U.S. international students’ marital aspirations, specifically. In this study, transnational and gender theories are employed to analyze in-depth semi-structured interviews with 21 international students studying at a university located in a mid-size, midwestern city in the United States. The study reveals that the majority of international students maintain that marriage is important to them while they are living and studying in the United States. However, the study also finds that the cultural pressures of their home countries, including gender-related expectations, religious affiliation, and the importance of parental input, remain key influences on their marital aspirations. This paper suggests future directions of research focused on unique romantic and relational aspirations of international students in the United States.