Family CollageThe Visual Representation of Modern FamilyK el se y O’Brien
Modern FamilyModern Family encompasses the manydifferent types of families: blended, two-parent biological, committed partners whohave adopted, and multigenerational“Families of today are defining themselves,for themselves, through theirinteractions” (p. 4).Due to the diversity located within thisfamily, it creates for extensive insight intothe ways in which their familycommunicates
Pritchett FamilyJay: Patriarch of the family and father ofClaire & Mitchell. He is remarried after hisfirst wife to second wife, Gloria. He is also astep-father to her son, Manny. He actstough and stern on the outside but hasstrong family valuesGloria: Jay’s second wife and Manny’smother. Often clashes with Jay over herstrong Columbian heritage. While she ismuch younger than Jay, she doesn’t let itbother herManny: Gloria’s son. Has more maturityfor his age than necessary and is oftenintrigued in doing adult-like thingsThe Pritchett’s represent a blended family.
“Gloria and I are from different generations, andI won’t lie, it isn’t always easy. I mean, last week she thought Simon & Garfunkel were my lawyers”-Jay Pritchett
Dunphy Family Phil: Son-in-law to Jay, married to Claire. Consistently trying to bond with his kids while still parenting them. Real-estate agent and is always trying to do his best with his family Claire: Jay’s daughter. Constantly trying to keep up with her three different children and preventing them from being the wild child she once was. Haley: The oldest Dunphy daughter. Always on her cell phone, extremely self-absorbed while monitoring her popularity, and very boy-crazy Alex: The middle-child. Uses her intelligence to mess with her siblings. Always doing schoolwork and is an overachiever Luke: Youngest Dunphy child. Energetic child who lacks common sense. Is implied to have ADHD and is usually causing trouble. The Dunphy’s represent a two-parent biological family.
Tucker-Pritchett FamilyMitchell: Son of Jay, brother to Claire.He and committed partner, Cameron,adopted baby girl Lily from Vietnam.He is an attorney and is very uptightand overprotective.Cameron: Mitchell’s partner of over 5years and other father to Lily. Has avery bubbly, outgoing personality andhas many random hobbies such asperforming as a clown and being a rockdrummer.Lily: The adopted daughter of Cameronand Mitchell from Vietnam. Stays athome most of the time with Cameron.The Tucker-Pritchett family is a perfectrepresentation of a committed partner family.Their adopted child from another culture also addsto their diversity within their family.
“Today, a family may be viewed more broadly as a group of people with a past history, a presentreality, and a future expectation of interconnected mutually influencing relationships” (p. 5).
Family CommunicationCommunication within a family is essential in its ability to function. It is transactional in itsprocess which means it requires mutual interaction.It can be broken down into communication between partners, siblings, and both.Communication of Meaning 2 Levels Content- contains the information Relationship- indicates how the information is interpreted or understood
“I only understand about 20% of what goes on around here”-Jay Pritchett
Sibling Communication“Siblings may create patterns of teasing that allow themto feel connected, but no one else could joke that waywithout creating tension” (p. 24).“Sibling relationships are significant sources ofinformation on communication patterns such as familystories, rituals, and memories” (p. 9).The Dunphy siblings are all very different. Thecommunication between Haley and Alex is oftencharacterized by sarcasm or a mean comment towardsone another.When Alex wanted to increase her popularity, Haley wasthere to inform her on how to do so. She was telling herwhat to text, how long to wait to text back, and what towear.Claire and Mitchell have often always bonded. They arevery close to each other and she often seeks him out foradvice.
“I want them to share clothes, do each other’s hair, and gossip about boys. Like I did with Mitchell”.-Claire Dunphy on her daughters
Cohesion “Cohesion is defined as the emotional bonding that family members experience with each other and include concepts of emotional bonding, boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision-making, interests, and recreation” (p. 30). The Dunphy/Pritchett family represents a family with connectedness. They strive for emotional closeness and loyalty while maintaining some individuality. While each member of the family is different, that doesn’t affect their ability to remain close to one another and almost helps the maintenance of those bonds
Family SecretsBonding Secrets: function to serve as a way to increasecohesiveness among family members. Often timesstrengthening sibling bondsAt Christmas, Phil and Claire found a cigarette andassumed it was one of their children. They threatenedto take Christmas away if the child wouldn’t confess towho did it. The siblingsEvaluation Secrets: function to help family membersavoid negative judgmentMitchell and Cameron temporarily hid the fact that theyadopted Lily for fear of the reactions from their familymembers.
Family Stories“Family stories remind people about whothey are and help them to see the good orbad times that contributed to currentsituations” (p. 102).“Family stories bring joy or laughter tomembers as they remember special times orembarrassing moments” (p. 103).One important story told by the Dunphy/Pritchett family involves Jay and Gloria’swedding. DeDe (Jay’s first wife) was thereason why “the incident” occurred at thewedding. DeDe is going to make a visit andleading up to her arrival, the story is toldabout how at Jay and Gloria’s wedding,DeDe became progressively drunk, made ascene, and needed to be escorted out.
Maintenance “Maintenance of gay and lesbian partnerships involves many of the marital patterns discussed but the lifestyle includes additional stresses. There is a desire to live and work in environments supportive of the relationship, to be ‘out’ in the social network, to be able to introduce the other person as one’s partner, and to spend time with others who accept those relationships” (p. 115).
“I had to actually come out to my dad 3 timesbefore he acknowledged it. I’m not sure if maybehe was hoping he heard it wrong, like I said, ‘Dad, I’m grey’”-Mitchell Pritchett
Family Rituals“Rituals serve as a way to bond familymembers of all ages across generations,providing a sense of family identity and alinkage” (p. 119).The Dunphy family loves Halloween. Clairegoes all out every year and it’s her favoriteholiday.This ritual helps bond the family in anothermanner. It provides them with acelebration of their mutual interest in theholiday
Marital Ideology Role TypesThe 3 couples depicted in this show allrepresent the transitional ideology. Whilethere may be a general provider, it is notscrutinized when the other wishes toidentify with work. Most of the homeresponsibilities are placed on the non-working partner, however.
Family Conﬂict “Conflict occurs when one person’s behavior or desire blocks the goals of another, resulting in a ‘showdown’ over values and resources” (p. 220). When the family has a conflict, it is often approached with either a collaboration or compromise approach Jay and Gloria had differing opinions on where they would be buried. He was afraid that if he died first, and she remarried then she would no longer want to be buried next to him.
“Claire likes to say ‘You can be part of the problem, or part of the solution’ But I happen to believe you can be both”-Phil Dunphy “Decision making varies greatly among families because eachfamily negotiates about values or resources differently”(p. 202).
“We’re both with people who are different from us, andthat’s going to create stuff. But you want different”-Jay Pritchett