CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURE
Family : Definition and Types
Social Processes Affecting Family Structure
Change in the Family Structure : A Perspective
Change in the Joint Family System
Change in the Rural Family System
Factors Responsible for Change
Impact of the Breakdown of the Joint Family
Change in the Urban Family System
Family in the Urban Setting
Direction of Change
Some Emerging Trends
Let Us Sum Up
7.10 Answers to Check Your Progress
In this Unit, we shall discuss the changing family patterns in India. After going through this unit, you should be able to:
describe a family;
discuss its various types;
explain the factors responsible for change in the family system; examine the changes in the traditional joint family system; and analyse the changes in the rural and urban family system in India.
In the previous Units of this Block, we introduced you the various dimensions of social demography, migration and urbanisation in India. In this Unit, we shall discuss the changing family structure in India. This Unit begins with a short discussion on the definition and types of the family. Industrialisation, urbanisation and modernisation are the important social forces affecting the traditional family structure in India. We discuss these factors briefly and
Structure in Tranistion – I
describe a perspective to understand the change in the family structure in Section 7.3. In Section 7.4, we discuss the change taking place in the traditional joint family system in India. The change in the rural family and the impact of the breakdown of the rural joint family are discussed in this Section. Change in the urban family system and its various facets are examined in section 7.6
FAMILY : DEFINITION AND TYPES
In Unit No. 6. Block 2 of ESO-02, we discussed in detail the institution of the family in India. There we discussed the continuum between the nuclear and the joint family. In this Unit, we shall discuss the form and direction of changes in the family system in India. To begin with, let us study the definition and types of family.
Ordinarily, a family, particularly an elementary family, can be defined as a social group consisting of father, mother and their children. But in view of the variety as found in the constituents of a family, this definition in rather inadequate. Bohannan (1963), in his definition of the family, emphasised the functional as well as the structural roles of family. According to him, “a family, contains people who are linked by sexual and affinal relationships as well as those linked by descent who are linked by secondary relationships, that is, by chains of primary relationships”.
Box 1. Characteristics of Family
For a comprehensive understanding of what the family stands for today, William J. Goode (1989) suggests the following characteristics:
a) At least two adult persons of opposite sex reside together. b) They engage in some kind of division of labour i.e., they both do not perform exactly the same tasks.
c) They engage in many types of economic and social exchanges, i.e., they do things for one another.
d) They share many things in common, such as food, sex, residence, and both goods and social activities.
e) The adults have parental relations with their children, as their children have filial relations with them; the parents have some authority over their children and both share with one another, while also assuming some obligation for protection, cooperation, and nurturance.
f) There are sibling relations among the children themselves, with a range of obligations to...
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