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 5: Hybrid Families and Celebrations of Difference
Hybrid Families and Celebrations of Difference
The white nuclear ideal is increasingly irreconcilable with observable evidence of diversity. Postmodern images of family life are now routinely appearing in the popular media, from soap opera to documentary programmes, depicting, as we have seen, an array of ‘dysfunctional families’. In recognition of this growing detectability of family diversity, a shift took place in family theory from the early 1980s that led to a material, representational and moral crisis in public debates about the politics of family life. But, at the same time, it has given rise to a new social pluralism and led to a questioning of orthodox representations of family life. During the 1960s, the questioning of traditional family forms led ...