Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Guthrie

Third Committee Member

Erika Engstrom

Fourth Committee Member

David Dickens

Number of Pages

166

Abstract

Identity formation has been conceptualized in communication studies, but holds reduced presence as applied to contemporary cases involving the reality documentary television genre. This study investigates identity formation by examining the reality television series WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends of Sports Stars). This study utilized social identity theory as a lens through which an examination of how female partners of professional sports stars manage identity via the social medium platform of Twitter, with consideration to whether the identity management reinforces or negates identities portrayed on WAGs. In order to examine if the identity management reinforces or negates identities portrayed on WAGs, one hundred and seventy-five Tweets from the Twitter accounts of three WAGs were analyzed and coded under three different categories. Results demonstrate that a nonsignificant difference exists between identity formation strategies used and the relational status of the WAGs; however, some within category distributional differences exist. Additional results, discussion and future directions follow.

Keywords

group memberships; identity; media; self; social identity theory; status

Disciplines

Communication

Language

English


Included in

Communication Commons

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