Module 10 Assignment: Families in Media

Images of families are everywhere in media, including in movies and television. What constitutes a family has changed significantly in recent decades, and much of those changes are reflected in the families we watch on screens. Some of these images reflect our personal experience of family and some are very different from what we know and have experienced.

STEP 1: Choose either a television show or movie to do some research from a sociological lens. Look for a family that is explored in depth. There should be a strong enough depiction of family members and how they interact to be able to explore sociological concepts.

STEP 2: Choose one theoretical view of the family identified in the module (functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism) through which to analyze your chosen family.

Reflect on how well your family selections support a theoretical view of family. Your reflection should be 300-500 words. Use your identified families as support for or an argument against the theoretical view of family in society. Consider the following questions:

  1. What norms are assumed in this family?
  2. What roles do family members have?
  3. How are the assumptions and points of view in this family understood through your chosen theoretical view?
  4. What argument do these families make about public perceptions of family behavior and structures?
  5. What does this family say about society?

For example, you might decide to write about how the Simpsons reflect a functionalist view of the family in society. You can evaluate each family member on how well they socialize Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, how each member provides emotional and practical support for each other, and how significant changes in their family impact its stability.


Criteria Unacceptable (Below Standards) Acceptable (Meets Standards) Good (Occasionally Exceeds) Excellent (Exceeds Standards) Points
Family Theory Content Does not adequately convey topic. Does not address norms or assumptions in chosen theory.Lacks adequate support of theoretical view.
Little evidence material is logically organized into topic, subtopics or related to topic.

Connections between ideas are unclear or absent.

Conveys how family example connects to theory but not key question(s).Presents subtopics to be reviewed and/or provides some support of theoretical view.
Most material clearly related to subtopic, main topic. Material may not be organized within subtopics.

Connections between ideas are hard to identify.

Conveys connection between example and theoretical view.Clearly delineates main points of theoretical viewpoint. Support of theoretical viewpoint present.
All material clearly related to subtopic, main topic and logically organized within subtopics.

Connections between ideas are organized and mostly clear.

Strong presentation of key assumptions and norms of theoretical view, including how view is seen in society.Clearly connects family example to theoretical viewpoint. Specific connecting ideas evident.
All material clearly related to subtopic, main topic. Strong organization and integration of material within subtopics.

Very clear connections between ideas.

Support Few or no supporting sources for topic. Sources used are insignificant or unsubstantiated. Sources generally acceptable but not peer-reviewed research (evidence) based. Sources well selected to support the topic with some research in support of thesis. Strong peer-reviewed or research based support for topic. __/6
Grammar & Mechanics Grammatical errors or spelling & punctuation substantially detract from the paper. Very few grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors interfere with reading the paper. Grammatical errors or spelling & punctuation are rare and do not detract from the paper. The paper is free of grammatical errors and spelling & punctuation. __/4
Total: __/20