Within recent discourses about parenting, the concept of equal parenting and fathering is a prominent theme. I have chosen two popular television shows that portray families to see if they represent ideas about equal parenting. I have identified three prominent themes that researchers agree comprise equal parenting: parents' equal power in decision-making, fathers challenging masculine gender expectations by actively nurturing children, and fathers sharing household duties. The findings of this thesis conclude that the television shows Parenthood and Modern Family are contradictory in their representations of equal parenting themes. Parenthood has strong examples of equal parenting, but remains more conservative in the representation of traditional gender roles, while Modern Family's representation of family is more liberal, not enforcing gender expectations on the family with two gay fathers, yet the fathers with different-sex partners are not allotted the same flexibility in their gender roles.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Gender and Women's Studies
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Coffin, S. B. (2013). How Modern Family and Parenthood Represent Equal Parenting: A Feminist Discourse [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/122/
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