Family collage draper

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  • 1. The Draper Family:Stressors in SuburbiaKaitlyn Creney

2. The show Mad Men paints a portrait of theepitome of the nuclear family that was thenorm in the late fifties and early sixties. As the series progresses the Draper familyexperiences changes that reflect certainadvancements of their time period. The family begins as very traditional but as thenorms of societys context shifts so does theirstability. 3. Prior to the series the protagonist, Don, the father in thefamily, takes on the identity of another man (to escape theKorean War). In doing so he has to remain both emotionally detached tohis environment and keep track of his lies. He suffers from anxiety attacks whenhe fears that his true identity will beexposed. His secrets are both toxic and dangerous. When his wife Betty confronts him withthe truth the trust between them is broken.Betty cant move forward because sheworries about what else he has lied about. 4. Betty passively accepts many of Dons affairs. She stores upwhat information she has to use at him at a later point,gunnysacking. This puts stress on Betty as she is always monitoring herbehavior and living with her own secret. When she decides be unfaithful her confrontation with Donbrings forth these previous issues. Her infidelity issomething that he cant handle as he reacts violently. 5. Alcohol use plays a major role in the lives of the family. Both parents see alcohol as a both a social lubricant as wellas a coping device to mask addressing their larger maritalissues.Intoxication is frequentlyused as an excuse for badbehavior.Alcohol use censors,distorts, and inhibitscommunication . 6. The oldest child Sally suffers some of the greatestpsychological impacts of her parents illness.She devises verbal patterns to explain to her youngerbrother(s) and those outside the family about her mothersstate in particular.Sally serves as the bartender atmany of the familys cocktailparties. Giving her a distorted viewof addiction.When Don brings her to work sheemulates his drinking habits to feelcloser to him. 7. Betty displaces her anger about her marital relationshiptowards Sally frequently. She verbally snaps at Sally ordenies her privileges. Don is continually disengaged. His involvement with thefamily life becomes like a hollow shell. He avoids situationswhere he has to be at home. He chooses his job or otheractivities to engage with as a substitute. The idea of pseudomutuality is also present. Here membersanger is characterized by agreeing to what they disagree on.The maintenance of perfection or the ideal is one that ispassed down to the children. 8. The Drapers are a one-spouse dominant family. AlthoughBetty is in charge of the home sphere all of her decisionshave to go through Don. Whenever the children ask herdirectly for something she subverts her power byredirecting them to their father. Don is the source ofeconomic, normative, cognitive, and affective resources. Don is allowed to orchestrate the power but both Betty andSally implement it. Betty does so to the maid and thechildren while Sally bosses her younger brother(s) aroundwhile Betty is preoccupied. Bettys beauty is her greatest asset to the cybernetic familysystem. Don experiences power struggles when he requiresher personal resources to impress people. 9. Sally grows very close to her grandfather Gene when hecomes to live with the family. His death furthers Bettys spiral into depression. However, his deathprovides an opportunity forSally and Betty to connect.The sharing of family-of-origin stories provides closure,comfort, and closeness betweenthe two. 10. The Drapers new baby Gene is very unexpected. Gene was conceived during what Don calls a moment ofdesperation. In an attempt to save the marriage. His birth means that Sally hasto take on more responsibility. Because he is born shortlybefore Don and Betty separate hispresence is continually forgottenby Don. 11. In this picture Sally accuses her mother of forcing her father toleave. Don states that their separation is nobodys fault. Thenegative communication patterns as well as specific individualissues are alluded to during this pivotal conversation. Both parents stress that thechildrens well-being is whatthey are concerned with. The relationship has followed thecharacteristics of coming apartthroughout the series, arecognition of differences, anexperience of constrictedcommunication, a sense ofstagnation, a pattern ofavoidance, and the immediateand protracted experience oftermination (297). 12. During the second phase of separation and divorce, thesettling in or single parent phase, tension between all formermembers occurs. Don and Betty no longer constrained by their marriage findthemselves able to communicate more openly but still in adestructive manner.Sally acts out the most out ofthe children. She cuts her hair,runs away, and tries to pit eachparent against the other.Once both parents have newrelationships she argues withthe discipline from people whoarent her biological parents. 13. Don is allowed to have the children on the weekends. Herealizes that it is too much for him to handle. He marries anew woman as a substitution for their mother and as a wayfor him to continue his parenting style.Betty renegotiates her role inthis transition by listening tothe advice her new husbandhas to offer. She realizes thatshe has to adapt to thesechanges in order for herrelationship with her childrento be successful. 14. As it stands the Draper family seems to be in a muchhealthier state than when they were together. The familys separation has provided more meta-communication and an openness for all thoseinvolved. Others wants and needs are met. Therehas been room for individual therapy as well asreflection. Growth was made possible by the dissolution of adestructive relationship. 15. Family Communication: Cohesion and ChangeKaitlyn Creney