Abstract

This article analyzes four popular family situation comedies of the 1980s, arguing that they played a significant role in illustrating and trying to resolve the problem of inadequate child care in the United States. Drawing from Foucauldian theories, the article argues that sitcoms, alongside magazines and newspapers, participated in an emerging neoliberal governing strategy, proposing private solutions to the “day-care crisis” and directing the child-care choices of parent-citizens. Family sitcoms advocated such solutions as live-in child-care providers (Mr. Belvedere, ABC, 1985–1990), day-care co-ops (Kate & Allie, CBS, 1984–1989), flexible work hours and work-from-home occupations (My Two Dads, NBC, 1987–1990), and extended family as child-care providers (Full House, ABC, 1987–1995), solutions that newspapers and magazines also championed as ideal.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2578-4919
Print ISSN
2578-4900
Pages
pp. 67-90
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-07
Open Access
No
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