Duggar Family Media Analysis

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Media Overview
Media coverage of the Duggar family began with a one-hour special looking at the daily life for a large family: “14 and Pregnant Again.” A series of specials continuing the examination of the challenges of life for a large family followed. TLC began hosting a weekly show featuring the Duggar family in 2008; it began as “17 Kids & Counting,” progressed “18 Kids & Counting” in 2009, and has aired as “19 Kids & Counting” since 2010. Throughout the specials and the weekly programming, the focus is on the ins and outs of raising a large family, addressing such topics as finances and laundry, grocery shopping and education, chores and caring for siblings, as well as education, dating, clothing, and vacations.
Portrayal of Deviance
As one of the children states in the introduction to each episode, “We are not a typical family…” (TLC-a). While there are a number of aspects of the Duggars’ family life that could be considered atypical (for example, living debt free, homeschooling, and strong religiosity), the crux of the storyline is the fact that this family is much larger than
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A more typical criticism is that noted in “What’s the Right-Size Family,” in which Kate Vandergrift, mother of 12, reports, being asked “Don’t you know about contraceptives?” (Hohchwald, 2009, p. 180-182). As described in the research section of this report, anecdotal reports of parents of four to eleven children are typically questions such as, “Do you know what causes that?” or “Why doesn’t your husband get fixed?” or “Doesn’t your husband care about your health?” Another common reaction was expressed by Melanie Rogers in “On the Road with 16 Children”: “We have six kids, and we get, you know, the stares” (TLC-f 2006). Staring and pointing are common responses to the sight of a large

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