Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Communication and Information Studies



First Advisor

Dr. Deanna Sellnow


Reality television is unique from other television programming because its format is less scripted than typical entertainment television programs, but not as candid as documentary style shows. Aspects of cast members’ private lives are publicly aired as “real.” The consequences for airing one’s private life in the public sphere are unclear. This may be especially important to study when the private disclosures reveal activities that may be unethical, immoral, illegal, or abusive. Petronio’s (date) communication privacy management theory was used to examine the martial disclosures that occurred between Taylor and Russell Armstrong, cast members of the reality television show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Two seasons of the show were analyzed and coded according to the five suppositions of CPM. Results revealed several aspects of Walker’s cycle of violence theory being played out in the public sphere without consequence. Additionally, co-ownership of information appeared to constitute a license to gossip freely about private disclosures shared in confidence between certain individuals with any and all other cast members.

Included in

Communication Commons