Parenting In Film Analysis

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INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background The images of parenting portrayed in films nowadays contrast the existing feature of parenting. Parenting is a topic commonly discussed in the media particularly magazines, books, films and television. Parents use these resources to shape their images of what a “good” parent is, how a mother or father should behave, and how a “good” child behaves. Parents construct an image of mothering and fathering through these media portrayals (Francis-Connolly 2003). Luke (1994) notes that mothers are portrayed in a traditional role and fathers are rarely shown in playing a parenting role. Fathers are portrayed playing the traditional “good provider” role. In the 19th century fathers in Europe and North America were expected…show more content…
Films are described as ‘‘symbolic creations which signify social values and meanings through their narratives, plots, and characters’’ (Levy 1991: 188). Symbols are arbitrary signs used to create meaning and messages, which are negotiated through language. The symbols are interpreted and modified by an individual’s thought process called minding. According to Ruddick (1989), the practice of mothering involves interconnected reciprocal relationships arising out of a primary interest in the growth of a human infant, unequal in terms of power and status, from childhood to a socialized adult. Ruddick (1989) describes mothering as a social discipline involving unconditional attachment and attentiveness as well as certain reflections, judgments and emotions that require thinking. Mothering involves transformation, adaptation and sacrifice while continually struggling with autonomy, boundaries and sense of self (Ruddick 1994). Subsequently the prevailing media images of women often support adherence to patriarchal notions of femininity (Lowe 2003). Pivotal to how fathers negotiate this gap are the meanings that individuals attach to particular roles. These meanings derived from attached roles help to form identities (Henley and Pasley 2005), which in turn have the ability to direct behavior (Reicher 1984) particularly in those contexts where the identity is salient—in this case the family context. Thus, a “father identity” is defined as an “internalized set of father role expectations” (Stryker 1987), which are seen to influence behavior within that role. The social identity approach has been used to illustrate both the amount and manner of father involvement, asserting that fathers ' involvement with children is influenced by the meanings and importance they attach to their fathering role (Olmstread, Futris, and Pasley, 2009).
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