Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Carol M. Liebler


Black, Social media, Social television, Stereotypes, Television, Twitter

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


For decades African-American women and Latinas have lamented the abundance of negative and unrealistic images of them reflected on television. Such images appear to be pervasive today on reality television shows, the most popular television show genre, where many historic negative stereotypes of women of color are conveyed. Social television, the practice of watching television and simultaneously commenting on social media, is now common among viewers. The aim of this research is to determine if the same old stereotypes of women of color on television are finding their way to the new medium of Twitter. This study is a textual analysis of tweets from viewers who watched episodes of seasons one and three one of the Vh1 reality show Basketball Wives LA and the WE TV reality program Mary Mary. Both shows feature women of color in the cast. This study found that the social television conversation among viewers of these shows detected racial and gendered stereotypes.

Key words: Twitter, reality television, social television, stereotypes, black women, Latinas, Basketball Wives LA, Mary Mary.


Open Access