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1.Watch three episodes of a drama or comedy or one full length movie that features a family or families. 

2.Provide a description of the show, what is the premise, who are the main characters, etc… (write this in your own words, do not use on an on-line resource).  You should not describe all the events that take place in the 3 episodes or in the movie, just an overall description of the main idea of the show. 

3. When looking at the questions below, use examples from the show to back up your ideas. For example, “this show portrays traditional gender roles as demonstrated when the husband comes home from work and expects his dinner to be ready”. 

3.Discuss what type of family is portrayed on the show. How is the family defined on the show (legal, social or personal definitions)? 

4.Does the family or families portrayed on the show represent diversity? (race, ethnicity, class, family form)

5.What type(s) of marriages is shown in the media source? Discuss and give examples (conventional, shared, dual-career or reverse conventional).

Description of the Movie

Popular media is in a way an indirect portrayal of how the condition of the society is at any given moment. In North America, the quality of life is often depicted in their movies and TV shows. There are shows which reflected the expectations the society had from any typical family, and this encompasses the aspects of gender roles, family values and beliefs, and the structure and functioning of any family (Brown, Manning & Stykes, 2015). The transition of society from patriarchal to one where both parents assume equal roles is evident in the media productions as well. This is clearly depicted in the movie Mrs Doubtfire, which has been chosen for the study. This 1993 film is no conventional movie; the roles of the parents are very much different from what is usually expected from any mundane family at that time.

Mrs Doubtfire is an American comedy movie starring Robin Williams as the protagonist. The main themes of the movie revolve around the concept of a family and the problems that every family can face (Bush, 2015). It addresses the issues of divorce –– the effect it has on the children and how the entire structure of the family can therefore get disrupted (Amato, 2014). The motion picture was also awarded the Academy award for the Best Makeup, and was also given a Golden Globe for the Best Musical/Comedy picture (Renfro, 2013). The protagonist, Daniel Hillard, is the father of three children, and he is extremely passionate about them. He lets his kids indulge in things that make them happy, like zoo-parties, which are highly disapproved of by their mother. Subsequent fights lead to them deciding to file for divorce; because Daniel is unemployed, the judge considers his heartfelt care for his children and gives him a time of three months in which he has to find a suitable job, and create a home fit for children. He procures a minimum-wage job at his old studio, which is not at all to his liking, but he does it anyway because he has to find a way to let the judge approve his plea for joint custody. His interest is provoked when Miranda Hillard issues an advertisement for a new housekeeper to take care of the house and their children. Daniel then takes the help of his brother and disguises himself as a sixty-year old woman, Mrs Doubtfire. Miranda hires Mrs Doubtfire instantly, and he is more than thrilled to be able to spend that extended amount of time with his children. His cover is blown when his son discovers him using the bathroom standing up, and he has no other option than to confess that he is their father. A new problem arises when Miranda rekindles her old relationship with Stu, played by Pierce Brosnan. The jealousy is clearly visible on Daniel’s part, who constantly tries to discourage and dissuade Stu from getting closer to Miranda.

The climax of the movie occurs when Daniel has to at the same restaurant with two different parties –– one, the Hillard family, and two, Mr Lundy, his prospective new boss who runs a show for the children. Drunk and confused, Daniel messes up while trying to rotate to and fro between the Hillards and Mr Lundy, and Miranda and Stu discovers that he is actually Daniel, not Mrs Doubtfire. At the court, the judge listens to Daniel’s pleas as he states that he has a comfortable home and a steady job and that he has met the terms of the court much earlier than the time that was allotted to him, but the judge dismisses it, and he loses custody of the children, and is allowed only supervised visits once every week. However, Miranda changes her mind after her children talk to her about their need for their father back in their life (Lamb & Sagi, 2014), and she arranges for a joint custody, enabling Daniel to be with the children every day for some hours. Also, he gets the job he had been aiming for, and dressed as Mrs Doubtfire, he addresses a young girl Katie who has written to a letter talking about the separation of her parents, saying that it does not matter what arrangement any family might have, because it is the ability to love is what matters in the end (Antunes, 2017).

Family Portrayal and Definitions

The family portrayed here is primarily nuclear, and the traditional gender roles are not really shown. The usual norm is for the husband to be the hardworking breadwinner and the wife to be the homemaker and caregiver of the children (Lindsey, 2015), but here this tradition is challenged. Daniel is a man who, according to Miranda, is unable to take anything seriously and finds everything funny, and he is unable to keep his job because of the genuine concern he has for children in general. The mother, Miranda, is the person who is extremely career-oriented –– Daniel accuses her of becoming like the corporate types she used to earlier despise –– and she remains very busy with her work because of which she hires a housekeeper.

The family portrayed does not have much diversity, as all the members belong to the same class and ethnic group. The only differences that are glaringly visible are the different natures of the two parent figures –– Daniel is a lively, passionate and extremely funny man with an intense sense of dedication towards his children, while Miranda, although very loving towards her children, is headstrong and therefore describes herself as serious enough for the entire family. Also, Daniel is the homely, loving husband and Miranda is the beautiful, attractive wife, which gives rise to a conflict when her old partner Stu returns to her life –– he is equally attractive and has a steady job as well, which is almost like a foil to Daniel’s character. Additionally, the movie takes into account all the sections of society by representing the transgender and the gay community in a non-offensive manner (Miller, 2015).

The marriage shown here is not a conventional one; the family was already going through a phase of separation when Miranda asks to file for a divorce. Like Mrs Doubtfire says in the end, there are all kinds of families, and what matters is the love that is shown and given to the children. The Hillard family was the kind where the parents needed to stay apart to help themselves become better people and be able to love the children in a better manner. It has been stated that the arrangements within the families do not matter as long as they are able to love each other and make each other happy (Sheidow, 2014). Similarly, Daniel had brought out the best in his children as well as in Miranda when posing as Mrs Doubtfire, and this simply showed that they needed to be a little apart in order to function in the best possible way. Together, they were more prone to fights and insecurities which ultimately did nothing but harmed the children and made them feel worse about themselves.

The future of the human race is dependent on the unit of the family. The personality of the individuals is also determined by how the family is, as the maximum time any person spends is with their family members (Noble et al., 2015). Thus, to conclude, there exist all kinds of families in society. The way media portrays families is a proof of that. The family is not only the most important societal unit but also the backbone of any society or its structure. The bonding between the members of any family is not only social; it is emotional as well. The main role of any family is to nurture and impart to the children a sense of discipline and responsibility. 

References

Amato, P. R. (2014). The consequences of divorce for adults and children: An update. Društvena istraživanja-?asopis za op?a društvena pitanja, (1), 5-24.

Antunes, F. (2017). Attachment anxiety: parenting culture, adolescence and the family film in the US. Journal of Children and Media, 1-15.

Brown, S. L., Manning, W. D., & Stykes, J. B. (2015). Family structure and child well?being: Integrating family complexity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(1), 177-190.

Bush, E. (2015). 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up by Suzette Valle (review). Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 69(4), 227-228.

Lamb, M. E., & Sagi, A. (2014). Fatherhood and family policy. Routledge.

Lindsey, L. L. (2015). Gender roles: A sociological perspective. Routledge.

Miller, L. J. (2015). Becoming one of the girls/guys: Distancing transgender representations in popular film comedies. Transgender communication studies: Histories, trends, and trajectories, 127-142.

Noble, K. G., Houston, S. M., Brito, N. H., Bartsch, H., Kan, E., Kuperman, J. M., ... & Schork, N. J. (2015). Family income, parental education and brain structure in children and adolescents. Nature neuroscience, 18(5), 773-778.

Renfro, B. (2013). 16th Youth in Film Awards. The Holly Marie Combs Handbook-Everything you need to know about Holly Marie Combs, 28.

Sheidow, A. J., Henry, D. B., Tolan, P. H., & Strachan, M. K. (2014). The role of stress exposure and family functioning in internalizing outcomes of urban families. Journal of child and family studies, 23(8), 1351-1365.

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My Assignment Help. (2021). An Analysis Of Family Dynamics In 'Mrs Doubtfire' Movie. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/soci240-global-health/media-productions.html.

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My Assignment Help (2021) An Analysis Of Family Dynamics In 'Mrs Doubtfire' Movie [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/soci240-global-health/media-productions.html
[Accessed 29 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'An Analysis Of Family Dynamics In 'Mrs Doubtfire' Movie' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/soci240-global-health/media-productions.html> accessed 29 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. An Analysis Of Family Dynamics In 'Mrs Doubtfire' Movie [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 29 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/soci240-global-health/media-productions.html.

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