Interpretive Agency Analysis

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Interpretive Agency expanded through Modern Family Cultural stereotypes are presented to us every day through all types of media. They become a significant influence on our interpretation of society; society as it is in reality as well as how it is portrayed to us through media. Television sitcoms are a media source through which people have seen a multitude of stereotypes unfold and evolve over time. How, exactly, is this constant display of social labels effecting the population of viewers? Interpretive agency is being effected and is creating a “skewed perception of reality” (Goodall, 2012, pp. 160). Interpretive agency allows a viewer to become an active consumer by giving him or her the opportunity to provide personal meaning to the media…show more content…
The image that a majority Americans conjure up in their minds is that of a white, heterosexual couple with one or more children (usually a boy and a girl). They may even throw in the white-picket fence and middle-class house in the background of this image. In this “perfect” family, the male is the main financial provider and the woman stays home and cares for the children and household. Though this image may have been a decent representation of American families many years ago, it is an inaccurate description for the wide variety of American families seen in today’s culture. In her article Media’s Influence of Gender Stereotypes, Hannah Goodall (2012) argues that stereotypes (in this case pertaining to gender) in media destructively affect the consumers’ perception on reality. (pp. 160) To have a good sense of reality when it comes to American family life, it is crucial to recognize the growing multitude of family dynamics in this culture. In the New York Times article “The Changing American Family”, author Natalie Angier (2013) states, “Families …are becoming more socially egalitarian over all, even as economic disparities widen. Families are more ethnically, racially, religiously and stylistically diverse than half a generation ago — than even half a year ago,” (para. 8). Though her words ring tremendously true of American society, many Americans refuse to let go of the…show more content…
It is a comedy about three fundamentally different families who are directly related to one another and face daily challenges together. A favorite show of many Americans, Modern Family addresses common issues faced by a variety of real modern families around the world. In the television show, the Dunphy family represents the “typical American family” we have seen time and time again: a middle-class heterosexual couple with three children. The next family presented, the Prichett family, contains an upper-class interracial couple with one child of their own and one child from the woman’s previous relationship. Last is the Prichett-Tucker family, two homosexual men raising their adopted Vietnamese daughter. (Feiler, 201l) In his article “What ‘Modern Family’ say about Modern Families”, Feiler (2011) states, “The creators of “Modern Family” are tapping into a different, more self-regarding anxiety: less focused on how families interact with the outside world; more centered on how they function internally.”(para. 26) Because this television program incorporates such a variety of contemporary family dynamics and presents a familial-societal relationship, it exposes a modern diversity to its viewers. The interpretive agency of the viewers is then shaped by this exposure, allowing them to create more accurate and realistic meaning in other media and everyday

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