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2017 | 27(27) | 89-114

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1. Objective The objective of the article is to indicate that names and surnames are essential elements of personal security. The security which is subjectively determined by both environmental (intentional and non-intentional), and internal (emotional, spiritual, psychological and mystical) factors. Through the analysis of individual cases the author tries to prove that the choice of name as well as the change of name or surname are determined not only by environmental factors (such as good associations and the need for acceptance) but also by strictly internal ones (such as religious or family aspects, or the need for respect). 2. Introduction Security is an overriding human need and as such determines other human needs and motives for actions taken. It occurs not only in a negative form, manifested by a lack of threats which determines normal social development in accordance with principles of social coexistence, but also in a positive form, which in turn is manifested by the ability to develop optimum developmental conditions which ensure the fulfilment of a wide scope of social needs. Today’s understanding of security, apart from the objective dimension, must respect the subjective measure, which implies the notion of personal security, the level of which depends on environmental factors (both intentional and non-intentional ones) and internal factors, including spiritual, psychological, emotional, intuitive, health and mystical ones. Names and surnames become one of the indicators and elements of personal security. 3. Methodology The author identifies names and surnames as elements of personal security, following views about it, and in this scope applies the intuitive method. It is also necessary to analyse individual legal acts relating to the giving of names and the changing of names or surnames, and to this end the author uses the formal and legal method. All conclusions are based to a great extent on the author’s own research conducted for the years 2012‒2015, which in turn is connected with the use of both the survey method and the interview method, as well as the statistical method. The surveys conducted concern the motives for naming children by parents, and the interviews were carried out in 84 registry offices in Poland (in the largest cities in Poland, according to the number of population). 4. Conclusions The author proves that names and surnames are an important indicator and element of personal security. The process of giving names and changing names and surnames is related to the subjective understanding of security. He concludes that both environmental factors (intentional and non-intentional) and strictly internal ones (spiritual, emotional and mystical) have a significant influence on the decisions to choose or change a name or surname. The factors often occur at the same time and constitute a specific kind of implication of interrelated causes.



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