Media Portrayal Of Modern Family

Submitted By mikerowe7
Words: 1916
Pages: 8

The media depiction of a family that I chose was Modern Family because it has numerous deferent families that all have different theories connected to them. There are three families that star in the show. The show centers around three families, all of which interact with each other. Not only does Modern Family deal with the traditional family (portrayed by the Dunphys), but also introduces a homosexual couple (Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker), and a mixed marriage (the Pritchetts). The main theory however, is the feminist theory. “It examines womens social roles, experience, interests, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication, psychoanalysis, economics, literature, education, and philosophy.”[1] While generally providing a critique of social relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on analyzing gender inequality and the promotion of women's interests. All three families are set up traditionally in the fact that there is one breadwinner and then a homemaker. In all the families there is an exchange being that the mother or in the one family the father stays home and takes care of the kids and the household duties and the husband work for the money so the bills can be paid and they can purchase the goods needed to survive in everyday life. For the sake of this paper I will focus on the Dunphy family and their interactions with in the family and outside of the family. They are a patriarchal family where Phil the father works as a real estate agent and Claire stays at home and does all the cooking, cleaning and childcare. The media portrays the Dunphy family as a traditional patriarchal family to the fullest. Which shows, “Emphasizing the harmful effects of the traditional family roles, economic exploitation, and social inequalities and the stereotypes of the women as dependent and economically unproductive.”[2] They make the family seem like this is the way it is suppose to be. The feminist theory in the exchange theory also applies to them because Claire, the wife, does all the traditional activities that a stay at home mother does. For kids that watch this show it portrays to the girls especially that they shouldn’t have to work as long as they stay at home and take care of the household duties. The longstanding ideological concept of the traditional family is promoted through the show and by constantly repeating gender roles; the audience assumes these structures as true and authentic. This makes it tougher for the men in the world because women are being brought up watching these shows expecting never to have to work after getting married and the stress and burden that is put on the father can sometimes be unbearable. They are forced to be extremely successful because with the single income they have to make it in order for the family to survive. With the media portraying this family in this manner they also put women down in a round about way because it shows that the male should be dominant over the women and have to ask for things when they want them. It also portrays the fact that the man always pays for dinners, opens doors, etc. These things may be little but it subconsciously gets that stuck into kid’s heads. The holding and opening of the doors done by Phil also subconsciously shows the male should open the door because he is stronger and that the women, Claire in this instance, is not as capable of doing.
The Dunphy family is made up of Phil and Claire, the parents, and their children Luke, Haley, and Alex. Claire’s parents are Jay and DeDe Pritchett who are divorced. Her stepmother who is close to her in age is Gloria Pritchett. She has one brother Mitchell who is married to Cameron Tucker and their adopted child Lily. She also has an eleven-year-old stepbrother named Manny and newborn stepbrother named Joe. Phil’s parents are still married and their names are Gracie and Frank Dunphy. Cam’s parents are also still married