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The Politics in the Rhetoric of the Hit Reality T.V. Series “19 Kids and Counting”

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Presentation on theme: "The Politics in the Rhetoric of the Hit Reality T.V. Series “19 Kids and Counting”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Politics in the Rhetoric of the Hit Reality T.V. Series “19 Kids and Counting”

2 19 Kids and go… Josh Jana John-David Jill Jessa Jinger Joseph Josiah Joy-Anna Jedidiah Jeremiah Jason James Justin Jackson Joannah Jennifer Jordyn Josie … see a common theme here? “J” (55-115) (1 min -130)


4 Class Connections “As technologies become woven into the texture of everyday existence… [they] shed their tool-like qualities to become part of our very humanity.” (p.12) – Winner’s “Technologies as Forms of Life” Marx theory: “Individuals are actively involved in the daily creation and recreation, production and reproduction of the world in which they live” (p.15) – Winner’s “Technologies as Forms of Life” “The rhetoric of technology shows how the objects of the built environment become part of our systems of goals, values, and meaning, part of our articulated interests, struggles, and activities.” – (p. 381) Kuhn’s “The Route to Normal Science”

5 “This large household runs like a well-oiled machine. Everyone pitches in.” – Renelle Roberts

6 Where do the Duggar family live? Tontitown, Arkansas with a population of 2,548 in 2012. Their household is 22 people. The Duggars live in a 7,000 square foot home. “The original kit that they purchased from Kodiak Steel Homes cost $82,000 but had defective I- beams. The owner of the company sent out a new set and graciously allowed the Duggars to keep the old ones. For an extra $5,000, Jim Bob was able to purchase enough supplies to use all of the beams, which resulted in a home twenty-four feet longer than the family had originally planned for- at a bargain price.” Took them four years to build it. A family friend Clark Wilson who is a carpenter helped them build it. Four bedrooms and one super large closet. (The girls all share one bedroom and the boys all share one bedroom and the parents have their own and grandma duggar has her own- this one is handicapp accessible)




10 Introductions When did Michelle and Jim-Bob get famous? Their family first aired as an original special “14 Kids and Counting” in September 6 th, 2004. From there on they had several other one-hour specials and a couple of series which we’re: “Raising 16 Children”, “16 Children and Moving in”, “On the Road with 16 Children”, “Duggars Big Family Album”, “And Baby Makes 18”, “A Very Duggar Wedding”, “Duggars Make a Movie”, “GrandDuggar First Birthday”, “First Grandson” and then a few more when the Duggars went on their World Tour & went to Asia. Josh and Anna also had a few specials featured. But On September 29 th, 2008 “19 Kids and Counting” was aired. These shows are aired on TLC and Discovery Health networks. It’s currently on it’s 7 th season.

11 Questions continued… Why do the Duggars have so many children? Married, watched too much t.v., ditched that, decided to have a kid, went back onto birth control, miscarried, decided to give up birth control and ta-da “19 kids later” they are still trying to have more children if God allows it. The Duggars also believe that “Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies” so they are actually able to give more love and spend more time with their children than they say most parents probably do “with their one or two children.” I’m going to mention that Michelle is 47 years old right now, and she still wants more. Michelle is 1 of 7 kids. Jim-Bob is just 1 of 2. He has a sister Deanna who is married to Terry and has a daughter named Amy Duggar. Amy and her mom are featured on the series.

12 How often is the film crew at their house? “The TLC film crew is with the Duggars for three days a week, a few hours at a time. One of those days is spent conducting five -minute interviews with each family member.” On season 3 of “19 Kids and Counting”, episode 19 is entitled “You ask, Duggars answer” and the family answers a lot of questions. On season 5 of the show, episode 33 entitled “Duggars: All you wanted to Know” they answer more questions.

13 School Michelle has homeschooled every one of her children K-12. You can learn more about how she does this on season 5 episode 27 entitled “Schoolhouse Duggars” on “19 Kids and Counting”. In addition, Michelle and Jim-Bob have paid for all of their children to have private piano, violin, and Spanish lessons outside of their home. Michelle tells her children that, “Practice Makes Progress.”

14 Jim Bob stresses educational field trips in homeschooling



17 They are also learning Bill Gothard’s 49 character qualities (1 a month) cterqualities cterqualities

18 Music is an important part of their lives… One article states that, “Jim Bob and I are sadly not musically skilled at all so we wanted our children to learn how to play read music. Luckily for us there was a precious widow who went to church with us and offered to teach our children for half price.” “We learned that by teaching them the piano first, they get a really strong base in music. Then they can pick up another instrument very easily and transfer that knowledge by reading music.” Started learning at the age of 5. “Later our dear friends the Queerys started teaching our older children violin with the Suzuki method.” They start teaching the children how to hold the violin on foam violins at age 3 and then by age 4 or 5 the children learned how to really play. “Some days the kids really don’t want to practice, but it’s not a choice: it’s just like schoolwork, you don’t choose.”


20 What religion is this family? Christian: Southern Baptist denomination

21 Criticisms of the Duggars “The Duggars write in their second book, A Love That Multiplies: ‘Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God’s Word and apply it to our lives’ (Page 92).

22 What is this? The Quiverfull movement started among protestant, evangelical, conservative couples. Popular among home school parents. Inspired by Psalm 127 “where children are compared to arrows for war.” The text states, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Give up contraception completely.

23 Evangelicals don’t except that “birth control” is always wrong. Big figure John Piper talks about children are a gift from God but it doesn’t mean that it is wrong to be a steward of when or whether you will come into possession of it.” Duggars believe that stewardship of these matters comes “post conception” Somewhere down the line people are going to make legislation that states according to Diane Francis who wrote in the Financial Post, “The truth overhanging the Un’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world. A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disasterous global birthrate currently, which is one million births per four days.”

24 POLITICS Jim Bob was on the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2003. Josh Duggar is the executive Director of FRC Family action, an affiliate to Family Research Council.

25 CLOTHING The daughters wear skirts to their knees, and long hair, wear “wholesome wear” for swimming. The boys are clean shaven with short hair.

26 Courting “dating with a purpose” The girls talk a lot about this idea in their book that was just released in March 2014 called “Growing up Duggar.” The motto of the book is “its all about relationships.” Girls & boys only give side-hugs to the significant other, they discuss what they feel is appropriate to do while interacting and they relay their decisions to their parents about what the couple will do. There is a chaperone that comes along with them everywhere. Most of the Duggars have decided to “hold hands” when they are engaged, it “gives them something to look forward to” and then to save their first kiss for the wedding day.


28 Criticisms continued… “It costs nearly a quarter of a million dollars to raise a kid from birth to 18, according to the most recent calculations by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.” – Weir. The Duggars own commercial real estate properties, they make about $25,000 to $40,000 an episode on tv, they used to sell used cars (when they first got married), soon after they had a towing business. “They converted an old chicken hatchery into 10 commercial rental units. They also leased land to a cell phone company for its transmission tower.” It’s interesting too because neither of them attended College!!!! $65,000 to start their reality show. “outfitted their home with energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Their monthly bill for water, utilities, and phone is just shy of $700.”

29 The Duggars are debt-free… no way! How? “After working through Jim Sammon’s Financial Freedom Seminar, Jim Bob and Michelle sold their home and rented until they had saved up enough to buy a fixer-upper.” Jim Bob uses the motto “buy used and save the difference.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard him say this.

30 Local and International Service John-David, Jill, and Jana have served as “first responders” in the Tontitown Fire Department. They volunteer there in their free time. Their family travels to El Salvador on mission trips every year. In one episode they brought 300 gifts to the children there. Jana serves as a leader at a ministry called “Journey to the Heart” Joseph and Josiah have participated in an “Alert” camp in Texas where they go and live there for a short time and train and learn survival skills. It’s like a military camp. They have taken in two foreign exchange students and helped support them over the years. Helped the Bates family build a home in Tennessee to fit their large “19 child family” Gave the Bates their 21 seater bus that they didn’t need anymore.

31 FUN FACTS they make their own baby wipes they make their own laundry detergent. It is $2 for 10 gallons. Bake their own bread from 50 lb bags of wheat. they use firewood to heat their homes- cut down woord in yard. They don’t dance. They don’t watch television except for some limited “Andy Griffith’s shows” Make their own pickles. Michelle won “Young Mother of the Year” in 2004 in Arkansas. Do all of their haircuts at home. Only shop at thriftstores or consignment for clothes. And shop in bulk for food.

32 FUN FACTS CONTINUED Do 40 loads of laundry per week. Spend $3,000 a month on groceries. They also eat about “48 boxes of cereal” a month. 7 gallons of milk a week. The Duggars have 9 batherooms and 7 showers. The kids earn 3 cents per chore completed. Michelle has been pregnant for 144 months of her life. Don’t believe in birth control. It’s however God wants to give them. Afterall, the first command God gives in the Bible is “Be fruitful and multiply” which he told Adam. Three books out: “Growing up Duggar”, “A Love that Multiplies”, and “The Duggars 20 and Counting” “Longest running reality t.v. show on TLC network.

33 Criticisms continued… Buddy systems are just another name for the older children to raise the younger children solely by themselves. Josh Duggar says “no” he doesn’t see it this way at all.

34 Criticisms continued “Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are extreme fundamentalists. Their irresponsible and rampant fertility strains an already overpopulated world.” – Jim Bob says that, “One of the greatest myths in today’s society is that the world is overpopulated (…) by raising these children to love the Lord and to serve and love others (…) that hopefully is going to make a difference for good in our world.” “Duggars are misogynistic” – In episode 8 of season 1, called “Trading Places, Duggar Style”, boys and girls trade jobs with boys and learn how to fix cars. Learn new skills.

35 What do you think some of the Duggar Family values are? Quality time with Family (Every Saturday the parents pull their children aside each one and talk to them and ask them deep questions about how they are doing and what they need more from their parents.) Generosity Love Responsibility



38 QUOTES AND OTHER INFO “The first time I say it, you obey it!” “Delayed obedience is disobedience” Obedience game. Go and touch something the parents ask them to touch and run back to mommy and daddy right away. Blanket Training: “ Starting when her children are toddlers, Michelle teaches them to play quietly with a single toy for short periods of time, often while sitting on a blanket. Blanket training teaches self-control in any situation (with or without a blanket)” Their parents want the siblings to be each others “best friends.”

39 Kids are able to make a life on their own… John-David has a car-towing business. Joshua had his own car business for six years before he moved to Washington D. C. to work as Jill is getting her degree online to become a Nurse Midwife right now. As for Derek Dillard, Jill’s significant other, he is an Accountant. Jessa’s boyfriend is a window-glass repairman. He is also enrolled in College right now to obtain a business degree.

40 Trials and Tribulations On season 6, episode 9 entitled “A Duggar Loss”, the Duggars feature the news that they have miscarried their 20 th child, who they later named Jubilee Shalom Duggar.

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