Nuclear Family Sociology

1572 Words 7 Pages
The nuclear family in television consists of a mom, dad, and three kids. They live in a suburban community, with other heterosexual families as neighbors. The father works to provide for the family, while the mom stays at home with the kids or occasionally works. Their lives revolve around school, work, and home, places that define a certain characteristic of each member of the family. However, sitcom families spend most of their time at home. The house idealizes the concept of a big suburban house with open floors and an ample living space. America’s ideal notion of family structure it is defined by society’s’ sense of the heterosexual families. The structure of the household has not changed, although, the nuclear family has been on television …show more content…
Haralovich indicates that the location in which each character is perceived represents their gender role in the family sitcom. For example, Marge spent most of her time in the kitchen, while Homer is at work and the kids are in school. The roles that the characters portray encourages the establishment of gender norms as social practices. According to Haralovich “The relationship of television programming to the social formation is crucial to an understanding of television as a social practice” (70). Television is influential to society and imposes social norms. The opening of the Simpsons criticizes the influence of television by illustrating the family gathering to watch tv. As a result, the Simpsons portray rigid gender roles. In the book The Simpsons, Satire, and American Culture, Matthew Henry indicates that the Simpsons “critiques the ideological norms surrounding gender in American culture” (79). The show criticizes America’s patriarchal society by portraying a dysfunctional nuclear family. The Simpsons is a satire comedy that illustrates the ideal family structure and indicates that America’s notion of an ordinary family is not …show more content…
Eick indicates “notable discrepancies between the portrayals of males and females in all of the cartoons analyzed. Males outnumbered females considerably, and physical appearances, as well as the jobs characters, were awarded often conformed to traditional stereotypes. Females never played the part of the main hero or problem solver (1). The Simpsons have a higher population of men than women. Such observations imply that woman is underrepresented in Springfield. In the essay Gender Stereotypes in Children 's Television Cartoons, Kelly Eick says that “Female characters [are] featured much more often than their male counterparts in jobs that are traditionally tailored to a particular sex. Women were scientists, superheroes, judges and dog breeders, as well as take the traditional roles of mothers, wives, and housekeepers” (2). The predominance of men in successful occupation depicts the circumstance in which the show was created. Henry points out that “The Simpsons is a television show dominated by men: The show produced by Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon, and it is revised by a host of male writers, directors, and animators” (104). The Simpsons are produced by men, which means that some of their perspectives on social issues are portrayed in the show. Perhaps, Homer’s frustration with Marge’s new jobs represents the

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