Personal Stories, Public Lives

Whether through autobiographies and memoirs, on reality TV or YouTube, in social media postings or in job interviews, people often share parts of their personal stories with the public. Why do we publicize our private lives? What roles do personal stories play in shaping public images and professional reputations, in how we advocate for causes, promote political campaigns and even change the course of history? By applying theories of communication to a variety of case studies, we will explore how, why and to what effects people communicate their personal stories for the public.