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Communication Privacy Management - Essay Example

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Name Class October 28, 2013 Theory: Communication Privacy Management Theory Word Count: According to Sandra Petronio, Communication Privacy Management Theory (CPMT) explains how people make sense of and implement their beliefs regarding privacy. Privacy pertains to the right that people believe they have with regards to their private information…
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Download file to see previous pages A friend of a friend of mine, Lisa, told my friend Anne and me that she discovered that her mother, Margie, was having an affair with a school employee, John (unmarried). The names here are all made up for privacy reasons. The news made me significantly uncomfortable because the woman was, in effect, committing bigamy, and I did not want to be a part of it. CPMT helps me understand this life experience and how it should have been resolved. Petronio offers five principles of CPMT, the first is that people think they own and have a right to control their private information. Private information refers to information that a person owns and that he/she feels must be controlled. Disclosure of private information pertains to the expression of private information to third parties. In my experience, Lisa discloses private information that she does not solely own, thereby breaching the privacy of her mother and John. I honestly did not think that these people would like their illicit affair to be so openly shared in public, even if it was to Lisa’s friends only. Lisa practiced the first principle of privacy, which is that she thought that she owned the private information about her mother’s affair and she could control who should have access to it. The second principle of CPMT is that people control their private information through setting and using personal privacy rules. Personal privacy rules are not always openly discussed and fully agreed upon, however. Lisa said that when she saw her mother being too intimate with John, she confronted her at home. Margie broke down and disclosed private information about her affair, but she made her daughter promise to not tell anyone, especially her father. Lisa was so mad, but Margie said that she was planning to break up with John anyway, so it was better to keep everything quiet. Still, Lisa evidently did not know how to keep things quiet, and she broke her mother’s personal privacy rules. The five factors of privacy rules can help explain Lisa’s disclosure behavior. First, culture may have something to do with her openness to Anne. They are both Hispanic Americans, which indicate a collectivist culture. Lisa needs emotional and social support that she thinks Anne can provide. Second, Lisa is a woman who wants another woman to listen to her and be her confidant. Gender can make some women be more open to other women with their private information. Third, Lisa has the motivation for disclosure. Her motivations are to get social support and to share her burden with others. Fourth, the context of the situation must truly be affecting Lisa. She must truthfully love her father and mother to try and keep the private information, but she must feel so hurt that she could not wait anymore to disclose the private information to someone close to her. She told Anne: “Anne, you’re my best friend in the world, and I feel so messed up. I can’t believe my ‘ideal” mom would do this to my ‘ideal’ dad. Everything is a lie in my life.” She broke down and cried afterwards. Something so hurtful may compel someone to disclose such private information to others. Fifth, Lisa must have thought that the benefits outweigh the risk, when she made a risk/benefit ratio. The benefits of disclosure of private information are high: 1) reducing stress, 2) sharing emotional burden, and 3) getting social support. The risks are lower ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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