How Families Have Been Portrayed in the Media

Authors Avatar by krisztiicgmailcom (student)

Families Portrayed in the Media

        Families have evolved a tremendous amount over the past 60 years and television shows play an important part in showing those changes. Leave it to Beaver, The Brady Bunch, Full House, and Modern Family all have similarities and differences that can be shown through the different types and structures of families, individuals roles of each family member, how the families fulfill the functions, and the type of marriage and authority portrayed in the shows.

        The 1950's saw the rise of the traditional nuclear family, illustrated in the television show Leave it to Beaver. These kinds of family TV shows redefined society's views of the household and led to the view that the nuclear family is the norm. Even today many people cling to that view, despite the fact that other varieties of families have risen such as lone-parent, and recombined families. Leave it to Beaver consisted of a married couple and their two sons, Beaver and Wally. In this show the husband is the head of the household and the only source of income, the wife is the homemaker of the family, and the kids are expected to go to school and be respectful and faithful toward their parents. In the episode we watched together in class we learned that Beaver isn’t doing good in English, and his parents have to have a meeting with the male teacher. The wife asked the father to go instead of her solely because the teacher is a male. The husband then said, “I’ll have a real man to man talk with him”. This portrays the stereotypes and gender roles that women and men faced in the 1950’s; women were more emotional and the ones to stay at home, while men were rather tough and had the most authority in the household. The two brothers, Beaver and Wally treat their parents with great respect and have family conversations about concerns they are having in their life. For example, Wally’s dad told him to help Beaver study for his English test and Wally respectfully did what was asked of him. Compared to Modern Family, there is hardly a close sibling relationship within the Dunphy family; all three kids never got along with each other or their parents, they always disagreed and talked back to each other and showed little respect toward the parents. Also, examples of one of the 6 functions that the family in Leave it to Beaver displays include the socialization of children; Beaver’s father was very strict and made sure Beaver studied hard for English. This shows that parents made rules in the house for the children to abide by. Also, the mother stays at home cleaning the kitchen, setting the dinner table and cooking, this demonstrates that the mother provides physical care for the members in her family.

Join now!

        In the 1970’s society was slowly moving away from traditional nuclear families and toward untraditional families like a recombined or “blended” family. The Brady Bunch was a significant television show that focused on traditional values while still being an unconventional family during that era. The Brady family consisted of a husband and wife who both had 3 children from previous marriages, and their maid. Just like the television show Leave it to Beaver the family structure was quite similar. The father was the head of the household and the only source of income, the mother stayed home and took care of ...

This is a preview of the whole essay