‘Family life’ may conjure up a different image for each person. But the reality often falls short of the expectation set up by popular culture. The conventional nuclear family is still the model being represented in media. But what is the average UK family really like?
A study carried out by frozen food firm McCain explored the day to day life of 2,000 families. The aim of the study was to see how family behaviours had changed and evolved over the years. McCain hope that the research they commissioned will lead to a more accurate representation of family life.
The average family
The study revealed that the average modern family watched 3 and a half hours of television a day, had a Ford in the drive way and went for a walk once a fortnight.
Many families ate their meals together 5 times a week, enjoying a takeaway twice a month. And 3 hours quality time would be spent with the family a day.
So it would be more realistic to watch a family sitting in front of the TV like the Royals, digging into a take away on a Saturday, than it would watching a family sit around the table eating a home cooked meal.
Family dynamics and behaviour have changed over the years, and many families don’t identify with a model of the family which is out of touch with the different family types that exist. For example, more than 1 in 10 families report uncles and aunts being younger than themselves.
The parenting or guardian role is also diverse, but this diversity seems to be lacking in media representation according to the study.
The research carried out by OnePoll discovered that only 49% of Brits felt popular culture provided an accurate representation of their experience of family life. 89% said they hadn’t seen anything in popular culture in the last 6 months that related to them.
McCain’s ‘We Are Family’ campaign aims to provide a more accurate portrayal of family life that people can relate to. McCain are also working in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery to capture real life family portraits. Photographer Sian Davey is travelling the UK snapping a diverse selection of families for the a pop-up exhibit in September.