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…
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.
Purpose – Informed by an intersectional perspective, this chapter examines how middle-class, immigrant Tamil (an Indian regional group) Brahmin (upper-caste) profess/ional…
Purpose – Informed by an intersectional perspective, this chapter examines how middle-class, immigrant Tamil (an Indian regional group) Brahmin (upper-caste) profess/ional women organize motherhood in the U.S., by identifying the arrangements of mothering they develop, and the conditions under which these emerge.Methodology/approach – Data is based on a year-long ethnography among Tamils in Atlanta, and multi-part, feminist life-history interviews with 33 first-generation, Tamil professional women, analyzed within a constructivist grounded theory method.Findings – Tamil immigrant motherhood emerges from the interplay of Tamil women's social location as an immigrant community of color in the U.S. and their agency. Paradoxically racialized as model minorities who are also culturally incommensurable with American society, Tamil women rework motherhood around breadwinning and cultural nurturing to mother for class and ethnicity respectively. They expand the hegemonic model of Tamil Brahmin motherhood beyond domesticity positioning their professional work as complementary to mothering, while simultaneously reinforcing hegemonic elements of mothers as keepers of culture, responsible for ethnic socialization of children. Mothering then enables them to engender integration into American society by positioning families as upwardly mobile, model minorities who are ethnic. This, however, exacts a personal toll: their limited professional mobility and reduced personal leisure time.Originality/value – By uncovering Tamil immigrant motherhood as structural and agentic, a site of power contestation between spouses and among Tamil women, and its salience in adaptation to America, this chapter advances scholarship on South Asians that under-theorizes mothering and that on immigrant parenting in which South Asians are invisible.