Project 1: Media and Myths: Essay on Media Depiction of Family and Theoretical Applications
In this assignment, you will engage in a sociological analysis of representations of families and family issues in the media and popular culture.
Please locate one specific example of how families are portrayed and/or discussed in the media and popular culture. This may take a variety of forms, but most commonly will involve a news story from an online news source (such as The New York Times or CNN.com), online video clips/trailers/episodes from television shows or movies, or images from websites, blogs, or things you encounter in your everyday life.
You will write a short paper (5 pages, double-spaced) in which you will describe the depiction of the family, and then provide a brief sociological analysis drawing on course concepts and sociological theories.
In your sociological analysis, you will explain your view of which sociological theory is the “best-fit” theory for this family portrayal. Aminimum of five sociological sources should be referenced in your paper and included in a separate bibliography.
Some examples of popular culture and media portrayals of “Family” are found in classic and recent television shows such as:
American Dad; Brady Bunch; Everybody Loves Raymond; Family Guy; Father Knows Best; House of Payne; Keeping up with the Kardashians; Leave It to Beaver; Modern Family; The Cosby Show; The George Lopez Show; The Simpsons. Episodes from these (and other television shows or movies) may be found on hulu.com, Netflix, in DVD format, or on commercial and cable television.
The paper should follow the following organizational format and avoid the use of the first person in the narrative:
I. Introductory paragraph:-
Name the media portrayal (television show, episode) and then identify the best-fit sociological theory you have chosen, delineating the major premises of this theory. Identify the sociological theorists who have contributed to the theory. Include references where applicable. Use APA or ASA citation formatting.
II. Body/Narrative (several paragraphs):-
The body of your paper will have 2 parts. The first part will provide information (content analysis) of the media portrayal of family which you have selected. In the second part, you will describe how your “best-fit” theory applies to your selected family.
For the content analysis of the media portrayal of family, include:
1. Family Tree. This should show how people are related to each other. Try to include parents, grandparents, cousins, siblings etc., if these individuals are represented.
2. Family Introduction. Select the 4 main characters of the family, in some cases they may not be biologically related. Describe their relationships with the other key members of the family.
3. Family Challenges. What issues and problems have the family had to overcome? How have they done this? What have been the issues?
4. Why do some people have different views?
5. Family Influences. How are the family members influenced? Consider the people around them, religion, culture and other influences. How and why has the family changed over time?
6. Lessons Learned: What can be learned about societal ideals of “family” from this media portrayal of family? Is the portrayal realistic for the “real world” today?
For the sociological analysis of the media portrayal of family, apply the premises of the “best-fit” theory specifically to the family, using sociological concepts and ideas covered in this course. Include references that are listed in your bibliography. Use APA or ASA citation formatting.
Concluding paragraph summarizing why the theory you have applied to the media portrayal of family is the “best fit”.