My Family vs Shameless – Representation of British Family life

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Popular sitcom ‘My Family’ is representation of family life in Britain – But is it a fair one? It shows a white, middle class family with two parents and three children. Why does this prime time show offer such a traditional view of family? – Does this representation reflect actual experience for many people? – Is it offering an idealised view – does it tie in to deeper cultural beliefs about what family ‘should be?’

C4’s ‘Shameless’ offers a very different view of family life in Britain – Could such a programme be a ‘prime time’ BBC1 show? What sort of messages does it give out about British society and the structure of family in the modern world?

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