Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"I Got You": The Modern American Family and Latinx Reconfigurations in Netflix’s One Day at a Time
by Perez, Stephanie Melissa, M.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2019, 137; 13880415
Abstract (Summary)

The nuclear family of the American television situational comedy form is historically a visual representation of heteronormativity, homogeneity, and middle-class families in the United States, functioning as a medium in which conservative moral values are dispersed to audiences. Those sitcoms rely on the othering of ethnic and racialized communities to preserve hegemonic interests in upholding white heterosexual virtuosity as the norm, a remnant of propaganda of the post-World War II era. The sitcoms of veteran television producer Norman Lear challenged the post-World War II sitcom form and enable the progressive discussion of controversial topics, such as feminism, class, ethnicity, race, and sexuality. As a reimagining of the original series, Netflix’s One Day at a Time embraces the subjectivity of the lived experience of the working class, Cuban-American, Los Angeles-based Alvarez family.

This project uses textual and content analysis to evaluate the representation of a Latinx family in One Day at a Time as a reimagining of the standard American nuclear family of the American situational comedy. Penelope explores her status as a military veteran, a Cuban-American Latina, and single mother to Alex, a socially adept tween boy, and Elena, whose burgeoning lesbian identity and traditional quinceañera collide as key plot points of the series’ first season. Joined by flamboyant matriarch Lydia, as well as friends Schneider and Dr. Berkowitz, the Alvarezes endure struggles with mental health, immigration, coming out, and coming of age, constructing a trusted social circle that becomes their chosen family and upending the standard representation of the normal American family in the post-Trump era.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Espinoza, Dionne
Commitee: Baker-Cristales, Beth F., Clarke, Michael J., Brown, Karin E.
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Interdisciplinary Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Film studies, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: American, Family, Latinx, Queer, Television, Women
Publication Number: 13880415
ISBN: 9781085594585
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