In this section, we will discuss race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism and how they are depicted in the show. These concepts are somehow illustrated in this television series. Race, in the American society, has been typified by black skin color. The unique cultural traits and the sense of community African-Americans share reflect their ethnicity. On the other hand, Kady, the youngest child in the Kyle family, represents multiculturalism through her knowledge of multiple languages. The following section will define, operationalize, and describe these concepts and how they are evident in the show.
Race is a category of people used to differentiate people in terms of physical appearance, particularly skin color. People who have the same physical characteristics are from the same race. The concept that is used to operationalize race is skin color. In this show, the dominant race is “black” but there are a few characters that are “white. ” People who have a dark skin color are considered non-Caucasians. In this series, the racial minority is the Caucasian because the non-Caucasians are the dominant group that makes up most of the characters.
Therefore, race is largely unmentioned during the show because most of the characters are from the same race. However, there is one episode in season two where there was an argument between two different races, the Caucasians and the non-Caucasian. At the beginning of this episode, Michael is forced to take his family out for a meal. He is annoyed when he realized that the restaurant is expensive and the service isn’t good enough. Michael’s evening worsens as he gets to sit next to Stuart Tyler’s family, a guy whom he got angry at in the gas station for taking to long to gas up his tank.
... melanin. Both light- and dark-skinned people have melanin, which gives colour to the skin, hair, and parts of ... feet. The second misconception is that dark-skinned and Asian people are not at risk for the disease. ... ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. People who have fair skin that burns or freckles easily need to ... often a change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole or the appearance of ...
A few minutes later, Stuart starts insulting Michael’s kids, citing their smell, while Michael insults Stuart’s kids by telling Stuart that “they look like squirrels. ” Afterwards, Michael apologizes to Stuart but seconds later they argue again on who’s the bigger man. They make amends again but then argue cause Stuart held Michael’s lobster without washing his hands after urinating. When they starting singing “Happy Birthday” for Stuart’s wife, Stuart interrupts in the middle and is irritated by the fact that Michael isn’t singing.
The arguing just keeps going and going and things never got any better. They leave the restaurant at odds with one another. Michael and Stuart’s altercation evidenced friction between Caucasian and non-Caucasians but apart from this episode, race is not a point of reference throughout the scope of the show. Consequently, race is insignificant in this show and is proven to be unimportant within the Kyle family. An ethnic group is a group of people who have common national or cultural characteristics.
An ethnic group has five main characteristics: (1) unique cultural traits such as language, clothing, holiday, or religious practices; (2) a sense of community; (3) a feeling of ethnocentrism; (4) ascribed membership from birth; and (5) tendency to occupy a distinct geographic area (Caron 269).
The social structures ethnicity groups strengthen social solidarity. Social structures are the stable pattern of social relationships that exist within a group or society (Soci1002E, Lect. 5, 2012).
The main ethnic group in the show is the African-Americans.
The unique cultural traits and the sense of belonging is what will be used to operationalize ethnicity. The sense of belonging within the African-Americans in the show is what empowers this ethnic group. A social structure is the stable pattern of social relationships that exists within a particular group or society (Soci 1002E, Lecture 6, 2012).
... understand my roots and accomplishments of my ethnic group. Personally the history of African Americans affects me greatly, because it is the combination ... Among many of the ethnic groups that experienced a combination of segregation, racism, and prejudice; African Americans is one of the few that is ...
The African-Americans in the show share the same language, and a sense of belonging. The language that the African-Americans use is English as it is their first language in their country and state.
Michael’s youngest daughter is learning Spanish and Swahili but her mother tongue is English. Throughout the show, the Kyle family develops relationships with other African-Americans individuals. Michael married an African-American woman. Junior impregnated an African-American woman; Vanessa. Claire and Kady retain African-American boyfriends. Also, Junior has many African-Americans friends. All these relationships prove that the African-American community shares a sense of belonging. The language and the sense of community is what make the African-Americans a powerful ethnic group in the show.
Multiculturalism is a philosophy that respects ethnic diversity within a community that encourages people to learn about other cultures. A multicultural person acknowledges and accepts diverse cultures other than his or her own and tries to learn from them. The way this concept is measured is by understanding and learning other cultures, especially through its’ language. Kady Kyle, Michael’s youngest child, is the precocious one out of Michael’s sons and daughters. She is referred to as “the cute one” because she is the youngest one in the family.
“The cute one” strongly supports the idea of multiculturalism through her musical talent. In the Episode ”Making the Grade”, the Kyle family are sitting at a table while Michael Kylie checks out his sons’ report card. After they are done celebrating Claire’s outstanding report card, Michael calls on Kady to come and sit on his lap. Kady innocently says, “I don’t have a report card. ” “Yes, but you do go to school, right? You go to music class. How are you doing there? ” replies her father. “Well, I learned a new song called Itsy Bitsy Spider” she answered.
Her father then claims that he never heard this song before and asks her to sing it for him. She starts singing the song until he father interrupts her and tells her to sing the song in Spanish. So she starts singing in Spanish until her father tell hers to sing it in Swahili, a language spoken by several countries in East Africa. Kady is learning about other cultures through their language at a very young age. She is willing to learn more about other languages and is doing so through an artistic way. She found an interesting way to connect music and culture together which is very smart for someone her age.
Comparison Between African and American Cultures Our culture has advanced so far and fast in the last decade. The thing that has advanced our culture most ... are so many different tribes they have lots of native languages. In America Spanish is one of the only other ... languages spoken. Some of the different tribes in Africa are theSanburose, ...
By choosing this concept, we concentrated on the cultural diversity aspect of the television show. This scene allowed us to demonstrate my knowledge in understanding the sociological concept, multiculturalism. The scene depicts a multicultural young girl who is eager to discover other cultures, especially its’ language. To conclude, these three concepts are demonstrated in a way or the other. After operationalizing, analyzing these sociological concepts, and applying them in My Wife and Kids, we discovered that ethnicity and multiculturalism are clearly portrayed, while race isn’t really significant in the show.
Race isn’t really depicted in the show but the constant disagreement between Michael and Stuart reveals a slight conflict between the non-Caucasians and the Caucasians. The African-Americans have proven that they are a strong ethnic group through their culture and sense of community. In the show, they all speak the same language and have several relationships between each other. Kady Kyle’s comprehension of other cultures is what ascertains that multiculturalism is evident in the show.