Modern Family Character Analysis

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In September 2009, the first season of the television sitcom Modern Family, aired on ABC, since then it has become one of the most beloved shows among the American people. In the show the viewers are tossed into the lives of three related families. Jay Pritchett recently married the young and beautiful Gloria Delgado. Jay is now having a hard time keeping up with her passionate, Colombian spirit, along with raising her preteen son, Manny. Claire Dunphy is having a difficult time hovering her own family, keeping everything normal. Her husband Phil is great, except all his attempts to be their three children’s “buddy”. Meanwhile, Mitchell and his partner, Cameron Tucker, is the family’s homosexual couple who just decided to adopt a Vietnamese…show more content…
The stereotype regarding ethnicity is well-illustrated by Gloria’s Colombian character; she is a Latin American woman, making her way up the ladder of wealth, through her rich, older husband. Gloria embodies the common view on Latin American females trying to achieve the American dream, as she is sexy, dependent on her husband, loud, and hot-tempered, combined with a strong accent (Correa 427). She is also incredibly good looking, with an impeccable appearance, in contrast to her husband who is often seen in sloppy clothes as he is watching TV; which further underlines a core norm in society that women’s appearance is how highest importance and that a female’s looks counts more than intelligence (Witt). Not only is Gloria portrayed as a “gold digger”, motivated by her marriage to the much older and less attractive Jay, but the show is also basing many jokes on her strong accent, intentionally making her seem less smart. Patriarchy is prevalent in both the Pritchett and Dunphy family, neither Gloria nor Claire works outside the house; their husbands are the source of income and breadwinners. Even if Phil Dunphy is goofy and has this clownish take on life, in a sense being babysat by Claire, who clearly is the one making their household function on a daily-basis, nonetheless Phil is the man of the house – reinforcing the male dominance and a traditional sphere…show more content…
Feminist scholar Andrea L. Press reasons that even if television shows does not immediately reflect the American society, she acknowledges and stresses how television shows do portray “contradictory notions about feminine gender identity and female roles” (Press, Women Watching Television 6). Surely, Modern Family is portraying some sensitive and controversial issues present in the American society, such as race and sexuality, but the show is still based on issues American women face every day, and the creators use it for comedy. Whether or not these gender portrayals are intended, they still confirm that today’s popular culture is far from equal, and the show does not meet the ideals of a modern family. The show is promoting traditional structures, implementing it as factual and authentic, which is complicating the process of creating a patriarchy free and a gender neutral society (Lauzen, Dozier, and Horan

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