Identifier

etd-11102011-154243

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Research of parasocial relationships suggests that audiences engage in one-sided relationships with their favorite personae in the media. This study attempts to explore two types of reality stars: those who had fame before being on reality television and those who have fame because of the show. Using the PSR-Processing Scale, I compared levels of parasocial interactions for each, as well how moral disengagement might play a role for each type of reality star. I also explored whether these parasocial relationships are influenced by the frequency with which respondents watch various types of sub-genres of reality-based programs (i.e. game docs, dating shows, documentary soap operas). To measure levels of parasocial relationships, moral disengagement, media consumption, and reality television viewing habits, I administered an online survey to 244 students at a large southern university. Results show that respondents’ parasocial relationships and degree of moral disengagement with their favorite celebrity and non-celebrity on reality shows are influenced by the type of sub-genres of the reality-based programs (i.e. game docs, dating shows, documentary soap operas).

Date

2011

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sanders, Meghan

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