Gender representation in Modern Family
Modern family is an American mockumentary sitcom, which first aired in 2009. The show’s goal is to
portray a more realistic 21st century family, a “modern family” which is dysfunctional and different to
other representation of a normal family in traditional media. Despite the show wanting to portray
modern norms, the show elevates traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Majority of the characters
are portrayed with very stereotypical gender traits.
Stereotypical family dynamic
Highlighted in couple Claire and Phil Dunphy and Jay and Gorlia. The men in the family is the financially
provider of the family while the wives stay at home and take care of the children and household. The
husbands are in paid employment and can support their families whereas the wives are involved in
domestic chores and unpaid labour.
Represented by Phil being a real estate agent, Jay being a successful business owner and Claire being
the stay at home mum, who’s always cooking, doing laundry and general clean-up. These gender traits
are very symbolic of typical female and male female family figures. But in our modern society this is
untrue, as many women work and are financially independent, but the division of labour represented
set women back many decades when all they were expected to do was care about the family and their
appearance. Which is also shown in the characterisation of Gloria, being the attractive trophy wife
who spends much of her time worrying about her looks, and her believes, that family is everything as
she is shown throughout the show caring very much about everyone in the family especially her son
and giving as much support as possible to them. Both these marriages highlight outdated family norms
prominent in society decades ago.
Gender Stereotypical Youth
Gender stereotype can also be seen heavily presented in Claire and Phil’s kid, Haley and Luke. Haley