The Changing American Family - Video Review

3 pages
648 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Movie review
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In one CBS Sunday morning video, filmed on 11th May 2014, Rita Braver examines the changing makeup of the modern American family. According to the film, mothers have been feeding their family on Cheerios for generations (CBS, 2015). As well, in the film, there is an advertisement by General Mills on Cheerios to create awareness about the universal theme of love. General Mills says that they wanted to narrate the Cheerios story in a completely new and fascinating manner because the family in the advert comprises of a white mother, an African American father, and an adorable daughter.

Despite being heavily criticized for racism, General Mills carries out a follow-up advertisement to show that a family needs to comprise of a father, mother and children. The video goes ahead to say that there is a huge difference between the modern family and the 1950 family. For example, in the 1950s, a married family was the only form of a family that was recognized. However, the new century has come with the modern family that allows marriage between same-sex individuals.

There are various principles of sociology that are highlighted in the film. For instance, the film shows that the society is organized into distinct social units such as family, education, and government that tell people what the rules are (Brooks, 2013). The video particularly narrows down to discuss the family as a social unit in the society. Through the Cheerios advertisement, the video makes it clear to everyone that the family as a social unit continues to experience changes. For instance, the family initially comprised of a father, mother, and children. However, in modern times, the American family can comprise of same-sex parents with adopted children.

The other principle of sociology portrayed in the video is that people socially construct rules that govern them (, 2017). As a way of illustration, the video shows how people have come up with the modern family that allows child adoption. Also, since the modern family allows gay marriages, individuals that make up the family have created options such as looking for their mothers or any other female relatives that can help them in taking care of their families. The video shows that in the modern society, people have come up with rules that favor their way of life. For example, several states in the United States have legalized and allowed same-sex marriage for any individual interested in entering a same-sex relationship.

Also, the film shows that after socially constructing rules, people obey the rules as a way of implementing what the rules allow (, 2017). Since various states across the United States have allowed same-sex marriage, several people are getting into same-sex relationships whereby a family can comprise of two females or males as the father and mother and adopted children who make the family complete. Since same-sex partners cannot have children, various states in the United States have allowed that gay marriages can adopt children up to the number that they can maintain.

In conclusion, through an advertisement of Cheerios, Rita Braver examines how the American family has undergone various changes ranging from members that can make up a family to how families can get children. The video shows that the modern American society no longer considers marriage as a sacred institution because gay marriages have completely changed the landscape of the traditional family that used to comprise of a father, mother, and children.



Brooks, J. (2013). The Principles of Sociology. Retrieved from Accessed on 31st October 2017.

CBS (Producer). (2015). (2015, May, 11). The Changing American Family. [Video File]. Retrieved from (2017). Principles of Sociology. Retrieved from Accessed on 31st October 2017. (2017). The Principles of Sociology. Retrieved from Accessed on 31st October 2017.


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