Portraying the family in Popular Culture

ENGL 100-02

“Good. Because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” Vito Corleon, The Godfather

For our final project, you’ll be building on your skills using rhetorical analysis, formation of argument, and use of sources. In this case, we’ll be using your writing skills to create text for a class website.

Our final examination of family representations and performances will ask you to examine popular culture (television, movies, ad campaigns). Choose one show, movie, product ad and then talk about how it portrays families or uses the family to sell something. What idea about or aspect of families does it emphasize? How does it portray families? What does is say about family? How does it view family? Does it shift our ideas about what family is or how it is made?

For instance, if you talked about George Lopez (the sitcom), you might discuss how it fits into the history of sitcom development as a major network show focusing on a middle class Latino family. You might also talk about how it shows them as a typical American family and the ways is focuses on the specifics of Hispanic culture and family.

The text for the website will be just like any other essay with and introduction (including thesis), body, and conclusion. This assignment will ask you to give more thought to your own use of rhetoric and rhetorical strategies as you will have to consider how best to present your information on the web using all the tools at your disposal (audio, video, and text) and paying attention to an audience’s needs as if relates to website consumption.

  • You will need to consult other outside sources to gather some information.
  • You need to use at least one scholarly article.
  • No more than one website is permitted – and it must be on your annotated bibliography.
  • Your primary text (show, movie, ad) is one source no matter how many episodes or variations you reference.
  • You should consult at least 4 outside sources, but no more than 6 sources should be used.
  • Sources will not substitute for your original ideas, and video cannot be counted as part of your word count.


Your text should be approximately 6-8 written pages (1800-2400 words).

This information should only support your own ideas not create the bulk of your text.  Just like our previous essays, I am looking to read your own unique perspective.