Family members interacting while watching television.

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


In this chapter, by focusing on a specific type of intertextual repetition, I demonstrate how the public and the private are intertwined moment-by-moment in family interaction. Considering the relationship between the public and the private as essentially dialogic helps to demonstrate that family discourse is not private per se; rather it is a complex combination of the public and the private. By incorporating elements of television texts into their discourse, family members blend the public and the private into a dialogic unity. This chapter also shows that television viewing is a key site for studying the interrelationship between the public and the private, and that television texts can be understood asthe other or a social mirror (Bakhtin, 2000) that links family members with the world that lies outside their circle of family and friends.