The Is An American Tv Series Based On The Self Destructive And Dysfunctional Family

The Is An American Tv Series Based On The Self Destructive And Dysfunctional Family

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Shameless is an American TV series based on the self-destructive and dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. The program is set in Chicago and illustrates a story of an alcoholic father who spends his day getting drunk, while his kids learn to take care of themselves. Fiona, the eldest daughter, takes responsibility upon herself at the age of 15 to become the caretaker of the family both physically and financially. Although the Gallagher’s do not have the structure of a nuclear family, they still hold the functionalist perspective of having a matriarchal family system, with the sister leading the family. They fit with the functionalist theory, however not in the generic stance of having a mother and a father being in charge. This is a critisim of the functional family
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Murdock (1949) defines a family as “a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults” (p.1). Parents are the main influence in a child’s life and have the responsibility to be affectionate and nurturing towards their children. Conversely, dysfunctional parents with destructive influences tend to have troubled kids. Depending on the child’s social environment, there are some children in this world whom are not as fortunate enough to have a loving mother and father. The functionalist perspective focuses on keeping the family functioning regardless of the dysfunctions that can occur. (Bereska 10) A dysfunctional family is...


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... a nuclear family with the help and support of her friends and family. Fiona and her siblings work together to strive towards their ultimate goal of surviving. Even though, she struggles to keep a stable job she still manages to keep the family together as her siblings form/shape her into a parentified young adult (that she is).
Fiona’s personality enables her to make ruthless decisions yet nevertheless/nonetheless always puts her siblings first. At the time when her siblings were taken away and put in the foster system, she did everything in her power to retrieve them even if it meant taking Frank to court. Meanwhile she goes back to high school to get her GED, which in the future will help her get an improved/sustainable job. The functionalist perspective views families as groups that perform vital roles for society – both internally and externally (Little, 2012).

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