Mrs. Doubtfire is a corky, light hearted movie that gives a glimpse into the lives of a family going through a divorce. The film sheds light on the rockiness of a marriage between two middle aged parents. However, analyzing the movie from a different perspective paints it in a much darker tone. The comedy of the film covers up underlying predispositions the Western culture has on sex and gender. There are many blatant as well as minute details of the film that point not only to biases of sex and gender but also to the prevalence of gender roles. Also the film shows the stresses of veering away from a social institution engraved into our society and how the viewer responds to that action. Within the movie Mrs. Doubtfire there are a plethora of examples of sociological themes, terms and theories. The film shows the complications of a family split apart by divorce. It can be seen through the perspective of a sociologist by taking a functionalist theory perspective. Functionalist theory is “a theory that various social institutions and processes in society exist to serve some important function to keep society running” (Conley). In embarking on this approach it shall be seen what can happen to a family who deviates from the functionalist theorists’ ideology of family and its importance in the process of socialization, or so the film portrays. Socialization is “the process by which individuals internalize the values, beliefs, and norms of a given society and learn to function as members of society” and also the “primary unit of socialization for most of us” (Conley). A functionalist theory approach to addressing the problems of the scenario of the film Mrs. Doubtfire is that the main characters Daniel and Miranda Hillard stray away from one of society’s most important of all social institutions. In the process of doing so it leads the viewer’s subconscious to draw conclusions of who is to blame and the blame is quick to fall at the feet of the wife,...
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