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Reality television has brought viewers into the lives and homes of many different families across the country. While people question the ‘reality’ aspect of reality TV, the interpersonal conflict amongst families, friends, and loved ones is definitely far from scripted. Shows such as The Real Housewives franchise allow viewers to see many patterns of human communication on their screen, even if they are unaware of it. Using the theories discussed in the Pragmatics of Human Communication by Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson, this paper analyzes the family systems and interpersonal relationships within The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Applying the concepts of family homeostasis, symmetrical escalation, and metacommunication to the familial relationships among the cast, we can see that Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson’s theories are applicable to the crazy lives of reality television stars.



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