The growing public anxiety towards the end of the twentieth century that men were “in crisis” was articulated in popular-cultural texts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the TV family sitcom Modern Family, in order to explore the ways that it constructs the masculine post-9/11.
The approach used is that of cultural studies, a field which draws together theorisation and analytical methods from a variety of disciplines.
Despite the variety of family structures represented in the series Modern Family, its narratives continue to foster traditional notions of patriarchal power. However, the presence of alternate versions of “family” and “masculinity” suggests an awareness of other possibilities.
This paper may model to its readers a way of approaching and analysing other popular-cultural texts for their representations of masculinity.
An understanding of the dynamics of masculinity and its alternative forms of masculinity may be likely to have a material impact in the social sphere.
By drawing together theory and analytical approaches from a variety of relevant disciplines, the paper demonstrates that, in the wake of the events of 9/11, there are twin impulses simultaneously to adhere to a familiar, dominant notion of masculinity, yet to propose alternate forms of the masculine.
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