Looking at how the family is represented by the media, and by scrutinizing the manner in which it is regulated, this book uncovers the ways in which academic research and welfare policy have colluded with political rhetoric and the popular media to re-invent a mythical ideal family. Representing the Family: combines perspectives from a range of theories including media and cultural studies, sociology, and social history to show how certain types of family life are pathologised; highlights the discrepancies between contemporary representations of the "ideal" family and lived experience; and compares the British experience with that of the United States and Australia.
Chapter 2: Myths of Familial Origins
Myths of Familial Origins
The central, singular term ‘the family’ is privileged as an abstract notion, which makes it difficult to consider the ways in which familialism has been exploited as an ideology to domesticate the empire, and hierarchicalise relations of race, gender, generation and sex. The demand, by state and other official bodies and public discourses, to restructure the family according to a white, middle-class, patriarchal model was shaped by British imperial power and activated in the colonial context. During the nineteenth century, the family was transformed and fixed into a symbol of colonisation. The idea of ‘family values’ and the collapse of the modern family as an institution rely on a narrow set of assumptions about its historical and biological ...