Media Analysis Paper - Over the last thirty years, there...

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Over the last thirty years, there has been a continuous cultural and ideological transition in the gender roles and societal norms of parents. This change predominantly concerns today’s father, who is more nurturing and attentive, develops closer relationships with his children and enjoys the work and responsibility of parenting. (Wall & Arnold, 2007, p. 509). With fathers changing diapers, participating in feedings and spending more quality time with their children, popular culture assumes that some of the gender inequalities of parenting of the household are an issue of the past. Although there is a new wave of fatherhood and fathers are spending more time with their children, the gender inequalities and differences in parenting still persist. On the television show Modern Family , all three nuclear families, The Pritchetts, The Tucker-Pritchetts and The Dunphys, experience the above mentioned gender differences and inequalities. This paper will argue that despite the alleged changes in the traditional roles of parenthood, parenting still creates gender inequalities and differences because of cultural expectations such as the idea that mothers and fathers parent differently, labour policies and salary gaps between men and women in the workplace, and gender division of housework. Furthermore, it will also touch on notions of masculinity often being referred to as not femininity, therefore that men are less fit for roles that are traditionally feminine such as caring for children. Lastly, it will attempt to link to the above-mentioned social issues to the television program Modern Family . 1
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One of the main reasons parenthood creates gender inequalities is because of the different cultural expectations placed on mothers and fathers. Traditionally fathers are viewed as the child’s playmate, provider and disciplinarian. The popular discourse on fatherhood is often of the “part-time father and the mother as the main parent, supporting the idea of an innate mother-child bond” (Wall & Arnold, 2007, p. 512) and ultimately facilitating her role as the parent primarily responsible for the child(ren). “Fathers as helpers” also implies that the primary responsible for the children is and should be on someone else-the mother (Wall & Arnold, 2007, p.512). In the Dunphy household, the mother Claire is a stay at home mother and the primary caregiver and parent to their three children. In the pilot episode she is responsible for the discipline management in the family and its follow through while the father, Phil is responsible for providing it. This incident is a primary
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course SOC SOC365 taught by Professor Kristawhitehead during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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Media Analysis Paper - Over the last thirty years, there...

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