The Evolution of Fatherhood

By: Maxine Macias

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For my final project, I’d like to explore the evolution of fatherhood portrayed in television. I’d specifically like to compare the idealistic father to a more realistic portrayal of fatherhood. I think that before we just focus on men and their roles as parents we must first evaluate the women’s roles first. Television tends to attempt to portray real life. As we evolve as a society so does television.

Because women’s roles in society have changed, it created an impact on men’s roles. Women were originally seen to just be  housewives. Eventually they were encouraged to join the workforce during World War II but after the men came back home from war, women resumed their maternal roles in society. Eventually starting the 60’s and 70’s, American idealism was plummeting because of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal, and down with it came fatherhood ideals. Into the 80’s and 90’s father figures were becoming more idiotic. Women and mothers specifically in television were having more stronger personalities. Fathers were beginning to become more realistic in the way that they weren’t perceived to be these perfect individuals but men who were still learning as they go through parenting.

I’d like to research television shows from the 50’s to present day television and really just breakdown how much progress television has made based on gender roles and fatherhood. With this research, I want to create a video montage of the varying father figures in history to present and touch upon their differences in approaches to fatherhood and also perhaps compare the changing roles of women as well.


Sources Cited

1. Butler, Judith. Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

2. Casserly, Meghan. “In Photos: Modern TV Dads.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 June 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <;.

3. Goudreau, Jenna. “The Changing Roles Of TV Dads.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 June 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <;.

4. Goudreau, Jenna. “TV Dads: From Father Knows Best To Father Knows Nothing.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 June 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <;.

5. Hooks, Bell. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. New York: Washington Square, 2004. 107+. Print.


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