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    Self-Concept Applied to Oprah Winfrey

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    I will be very grateful if you could give me some help in describing how Oprah Winfrey is showing positive self-esteem or narcissism in the media. Also, compare the similarities and the differences between the theories of self-concept, and how each theory justifies Oprah Winfrey's behavior in the media.


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    Hi student,

    (1) Describe how Oprah Winfrey is showing positive self-esteem or narcissism in the media

    Klenke (2002) utilizes as an analogy the Cinderella story to highlight the experiences, skills and competencies of Oprah Winfrey; her rise to fame as media mogul, and her influence in the media. According to Klenke, storytelling can be a powerful tool to rally leaders around specific social, political, or cultural issues and/or causes. Moreover, she asserts that stories allow for reasoning, empathy, and understanding. Oprah Winfrey's Cinderella story begins with an examination of her early childhood experiences. Winfrey was born in extreme poverty and raised by her grandmother in rural Mississippi. She later moved to Milwaukee where she faced traumatic experiences that included rape, and subsequently gave birth to a premature infant who later died. Oprah Winfrey was only 14 years old at the time.

    Needless to say, these experiences led to Oprah becoming a disturbed child, who constantly found herself in trouble. As the narrative unfolds, Klenke (2002) asserts that Winfrey's circumstances began to change when she moved to Milwaukee with her father. With the structure of strict rules and a loving social environment, Winfrey turned her life around. She landed her first job as a radio station reporter while still in high school. Later, she attended Tennessee State University and majored in broadcasting at age 19. Oprah Winfrey became the first and youngest black women in college and varsity to anchor the news at Nashville's WTVF T.V. Winfrey moved to Chicago in 1984 and built her talk show based upon Deborah Tabber's (1955) theme of 'rapport talk" as a forum for discussing female relationships.

    Thus, Winfrey moved into a world dominated by white men, and was successful. She rejected tabloid television, and became one of America's most well-known and effective advocates for several social and educational issues. Her accomplishments include:

    (a) Launching the Oprah's Book club (1996)
    (b) Establishing Harpo Production in 1988
    (c) Building a huge facility in Chicago to launch the Oprah Winfrey show
    (d) Became involved in Oxygen Cable Network as an executive producer
    (e) Introduced and built "O" magazine as a successful circular magazine
    (f) Created Oprah's Angel Network (1977) that funds scholarships and provides aid to social organizations (e.g. Habitat for Humanity).
    (g) Launched her cable network, "OWN" in 2011

    In other accounts of Winfrey's influence is the proportion of television shows devoted to obesity and weight loss. Struggling from obesity, Oprah Winfrey has used her show to influence popular cultural attitudes and ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses self-concept as it is applied to the lifestyle development and experience of Oprah Winfrey.