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Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


Deanna L. Fassett


Communication Education, Emotion, Pedagogy, Praxis, Self-Disclosure, Social Construction

Subject Areas

Communication; Pedagogy; Education, General


Self-disclosure and emotion are common in our everyday lives, making it important to analyze how they manifest in our college classrooms. Communication studies scholars have yet to analyze how teachers and students constitutively make meaning of, and from, self-disclosure and emotion within our classrooms. This research fills the gap by using the social constructionist perspective to study how teachers and students co-constitute self-disclosure and emotion in the classroom.

This study addresses three main concepts that reflect teachers' narratives of self-disclosure and emotion: students and teachers as equal/unequal models, students and teachers as models of self-disclosure and emotion, and the ways in which self-disclosure and emotion positively and negatively affect students' classroom participation and learning experience. Further, it complicates each of these concepts by recognizing that our perceptions and stories are socially constructed, and we are always socially reconstructing meaning. Finally, this study concludes by considering the implications that self-disclosure and emotion can have for teachers and for the discipline.