The media has completely changed how the family is being portrayedin modern times. The family has been portrayed in a totally differentway in the current media and popular culture. From television shows,to blogs, to street life, the family has been portrayed differentlyfrom the contemporary and traditional family system and set up. Thetraditional family set up comprised of a father, mother and children.Additionally, the father and the mother would be from the same raceand the same country. Still, the father and the mother would be amale and a female consecutively. Research has also indicated that thechildren would be biological children born of the two parents.However, with the changing times, the family set up has beenpresented and portrayed differently by the media. It is, however,worth noting that the portrayal is a reflection of the currentfamilies in the modern society. Modern Family is a televisioncomedy show in the US that depicts the family in a totally modern anddifferent way (Lowery, 2009).

The show presents a gay couple with an adopted daughter. This is amodern portrayal of a family that is not known in the traditional andcontemporary family system. The gay couple in the show representssome current gay families in the US. It is surprising to note thatthe gay couple has been presented as a normal functional familydespite being a family with two men and a child (Lowery, 2009). Oneof the men in the couple behaves as the husband while the other onebehaves as the wife and mother to their adopted daughter. The vitalaspect being portrayed in this gay couple as the unifying factor in afamily is love and sine the two men love each other, they comprise afamily. This portrayal contradicts with what most contemporaryfamilies would call a family where there must be a male father,female mother and children to comprise a family (Respers, 2010).

Modern Family has also portrayed families as unions betweenpeople of different races. One of the three couples in the showcomprises of an old white man and a Latino woman. Gloria is portrayedas a stereotype due to her accent and skin color. However, the mostimportant aspect in this family is noting that the two partners arefrom different races. This is an extremely common scenario in the UStoday where millions of couples are from different races. Forinstance, there are numerous white men who have married blackAmericans, Latinos, Indians and Asians. It is also clear that thefamily has been portrayed as unions between young and old people(Respers, 2010). There are numerous instances in today’s couple’swhere there are old men marrying very young girls. The family in thiscouple has been portrayed as a union that has no boundaries be it interms of race or age.

The comedy show has also presented a contemporary traditional familywhere there is a male father, a female father and three children.This portrayal of the family is perfect and cannot be viewed asmodern as the title of the show states through its name. This couplein the show portrays the roles that different family members have. Itis clear that the woman has been considered as a house wife who doesnot contribute towards the family income and who is passive and hasno voice (Lowery, 2009). This is contrary to the American systemwhere women are playing extremely vital roles in providing for thefamily. The man in this family is portrayed as struggling in learningthe modern ways with the children such as learning the modern urbanslang which he struggles to understand.

It is clear that the three families in the Modern Family are arepresentation of the modern American couples. From multi-racialfamilies to the same sex couples, Modern Families has presented andportrayed the family in a way that a majority of the Americans canconnect and understand (Lowery, 2009). It is worth noting that one ofthe aspects that was evident is closeness of the partners in all thefamilies and the love bonds that existed.

The structural functional theory in sociology is the best fit forthe portray that this show has given the family. This is a theorythat states that there are roles for each family member (Johnson,2009). The theory asserts that the men are supposed to providefinancial and economic support to the women while the women satisfythe men sexually, take care of the home and children and protect thestatus of the man. It is clear from the traditional couple in theshow that the man plays the above roles while the woman remains athome and looks after the family. Additionally, the multi-racialcouple also presents the husband and the wife as having theprescribed roles in the structural functional theory of the family.The theory also states that the family offers support and protectionto the young one so that they can grow and become active andproductive members in the society (Johnson, 2009). These are rolesthat the families in the show have been portrayed as playing.


Johnson, D. P. (2008). Contemporary sociological theory: Anintegrated multi-level approach. New York: Springer.

Lowery, B. (2009). Modern Family. Retrieved on 16thNov 2015 from:

Respers, L. (2010). The evolution of the TV family. Retrievedon 16th Nov 2015 from: