Taking as its starting point the 'problem' of how the family has been mediated in popular film, television, literature and social policy over the last 50 years, Mediating the Family: Gender, Culture and Representation explores the ways in which struggles over sexuality, identity, gender and power have informed the conceptualisation and representation of the family as an institution and as a site of discursive complexity. Mediating the Family: Gender, Culture and Representation 'unpacks the family', looking in detail at the different generational and identificatory components: motherhood, fatherhood, adolescence and childhood. Using theoretical and critical frameworks from cultural studies, sociology, textual analysis and cultural history, and drawing on original research, case studies and critical analysis from a range of sources from around the world, the book examines the relationship between the intersecting discourses of youth; childhood incence; post-war companionate marriage; 'bad' families; and entrepreneurial femininity in the 1980s in order to interrogate the representation - and - reinvention of the family. Mediating the Family: Gender, Culture and Representation is an important intervention in debates about family relationships and will be essential reading for scholars and students of cultural, film and media studies, sociology and cultural history.
Estella Tincknell is Associate Head of the School of Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England. She is the co-author of The Practice of Cultural Studies (Sage, 2004) and is on the editorial board of Body and Society.