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TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Televised Quiverfull of Babies (Essay)

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 2010, Fall, 22, 3

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[1] "Barefoot and pregnant" lost cache years ago, but in the world of Quiverfull, a fundamentalist Christian movement, the adage is alive and well. Nowhere is the image of a barefoot and pregnant wife more prevalent than on The Learning Channel's reality television show 19 and Counting which brings viewers into the home of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar and their 19 children. Due to the popularity of their show on TLC, the Duggars have become the unofficial spokespeople of the Quiverfull movement. [2] Quiverfull adherents believe God should control family size; therefore, they do not practice any form of birth control and often have very large families. The movement is a relatively small branch of the Christian faith, with adherents in the thousands to possibly low ten thousands from many different fundamentalist and conservative evangelical denominations. (1) Yet, while the movement is small, the Duggars have brought it to the forefront of American popular culture. The television coverage of the Duggars has evolved over a five year period, with the family's first television special in 2004, 14 Children and Pregnant Again! (2) which premiered on TLC and was followed with three more television specials before the Duggars' current television show premiered in 2008. (3) As of June 2009, 19 and Counting averaged 1,409,000 viewers a week, (4) illustrating that, while the cable show does not garner as many viewers as a network program, it still has a substantial following. Furthermore, until the Duggar family burst onto the cable television landscape, the Quiverfull movement had flown under the media radar for almost 20 years.

TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Televised Quiverfull of Babies (Essay)
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  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: 22 September 2010
  • Publisher: Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
  • Print Length: 26 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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