I see “Modern Family” as an expression of “The American Dream” ethos. The show’s American Dream is a 2009 version (when the show launched), not a 1950’s version, which is the version most people think of when they imagine “The American Dream”. I think the narrative power of this is why the show has been so acclaimed and enduring.
The show tells viewers that the modern American Dream is to have a family like the Dunphys. This includes common tropes like:
- The ideal family consists of two parents who live together in a house. Examples: Cam and Mitchell, Phil and Claire
- The goal of adolescents is to get a college education. Examples: Haley, Alex, and all the other kids.
- Immigrants can come to America to have a better life for themselves and their children. Ex. Gloria
and the other traditions you mentioned. Super interesting to think about Caylee!