Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Jaafar Aksikas

Second Advisor

C. Richard King


In this project, Morgan Ohman seeks to explore the MTV reality show The Real World by analyzing several cast members of the show who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. MTV’s The Real World, a reality TV show that first aired in 1992, captures the lives of seven young people between the ages of 18-24 that are selected to live in a house together for several months. The show’s dramatic the opening title sequence, “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real?” raises fundamental questions about the relationship of reality TV and the politics of representation, as well as about the relationship between the subjects represented in reality TV and its viewers and consumers. Ohman combines a critical narrative analysis with critical theories of representation and identity politics. In particular, she draws on queer theory and the work of cultural studies scholar Stuart Hall to examine The Real World show, highlighting how representation in the media has become a vital tool for viewers to help validate their subjectivity and subject- positions within the LGBTQ community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.