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Modern Family

“Pilot” Analysis
By MaiLei Meyers, Rafael Gallegos, Haruko Mechtel, and Sunny Vuong

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Agenda
December 10, 2018

1. Background
○ Criteria + Methodology
○ Family Tree
2. Analysis
3. Key Findings

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Criteria +
Methodology
• Interviewees
○ 8 subjects
○ Ages 18 to 27 years old
○ 4 unfamiliar with the show, 4 familiar with
the show
○ Via familial and social networks
• Criteria for Analysis
○ Diversity
○ Representational intersectionality
■ Social identities/social groups

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Family Map + Premise

● Jay + Gloria
○ Manny
● Claire + Phil
○ Haley, Alex, Luke
● Cam + Mitchell
○ Lilly

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Key Findings

01 GLORIA 02 JAY 03 BEFORE 04 AFTER

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GLORIA DELGADO-PRITCHETT

“While watching, did any stereotypes stick out to


you?”

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Precarious Diversity - Gray

Gloria &
“I wouldn’t call it misappropriation because
stereotypes are born from people’s real world

Stereotypes
experiences which usually everyone can relate to.”

“Flamboyant gay man, loud angry Latina, sexist and


also like vaguely racist old man, hopeless white dad
who lets his wife do all the domestic work.”

“Latina women being loud and obnoxious -- not


“Gloria and Jay seem to represent an immigrant family
always the case, but they really emphasized it. in which one or both parents are foreign-born and do
Cameron was super extra and a lot of people not know the American culture too well.”
stereotype gays as being loud and extra and
flamboyant. [...].”

“Gloria stood out to me even when I was younger. “The current conjuncture destabilizes the alliance between
[...] It feels like her character is very played up to demography and representation as a response to exclusion,
make that distinction [between ethnic and social invisibility, and stereotypes and reorders it around diversity
backgrounds.]” and multiculturalism as markers of consumer brands, lifestyle
choices, and post-racial cultural appreciation.”
“For example, Jay calling Lilly a “potsticker.” Along
with his [Mitchell’s] speech he made on the plane
[about her].”
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JAY PRITCHETT

“Are there any family dynamics or structures


of the Pritchett-Dunphy clan that you relate to?
stick out to you?”

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Precarious Diversity - Gray

“These production centers generate


specific content organized around nation, Jay &
ethnicity, language, and history, all of
which provides a sharp contrast to—while
Representation
adding to and complicating—U.S.
conceptions of diversity.”
“As far as something I can relate to, I guess,
having a dad whose somewhat uncomfortable
with some kinds of diversity.”

“In this context, multicultural programming “Having a white father who’s married to an Asian
content is very much an element of woman without really trying to understand her
branding and marketing deployed by culture even though it’s important to her.”
content producers to reach precise sectors
of their desired markets (for instance, “The main clan, Phil and Claire. That represents
reality television shows about rural white my family the best. [...] Jay is one of the most
working-class families)” relatable on a general scale. You know a Jay, you
have a Jay in your life.”
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Previous Shows
that Ensemble
Diversity

Sesame Street (1969-present) Magic School Bus (1994-1997) Hey Arnold! (1994-2004) Barney & Friends (1992-2009)

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Scrubs (2009-2010) Interviewees Will and Grace (1998-present)

Choices

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-


1 Proud Family (2001-2005)
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1996)

“This show has been on air for 10 years, it is


currently ABC's longest-running comedy
series. Why do you think this is? Does this
surprise you?”
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ABC family-centered shows post Modern Family
Fall 2013 Spring 2018
“Not surprised at all. From this episode, I feel like it’s a
Spring 2015 very relatable show for multiple identities. It’s a comedy
and people love comedy and well-written. I feel like this
show is well-written.”

“It does surprises me how long this comedy series have been
on TV. However, I do get how people still feel interested by it,
likely because it gives out true reality representations
without the offensive aspects.”

“The main points of the most recent survey findings (2009)


are as follows:
● Overall, representation of people who were non-
Fall 2009 white was in supporting and not leading roles.
● Although 56 million Americans report having a
Fall 2014 disability, virtually no television characters exhibited
Fall 2016 one.
Fall 2018
● For every female role in film and television there are
two male roles. “
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