Family Structure in India

Topics: Family / Pages: 25 (6121 words) / Published: Mar 24th, 2013
Niranjan, S.; Sureender, S. and Rao, G. Rama. : Family Structure in India Evidence from NFHS. Demography India. 27(2). 1998. P. 287-300. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Family Structure in India - Evidence from NFHS S. Niranjan, S. Sureenderand G. Rama Rao Introduction With the increase in the urbanization and industrialization, the concept of family in India, which once was to create and maintain a common culture among the members of the family, is undergoing changes. However according to Beteille (1964), inspite of socio-economic and political changes, family life and family structure have remained as an integral part of Indian society with the 'spirit of family solidarity ' as the sustaining power. Ross (1961) found that many Indians went through changes in the type of family in which they lived in various sequences: large joint family, small joint family, nuclear family, and nuclear family with dependants. D 'Souza (1971) argues that, the Indian family has been subjected to stress and strain, and inspite of resistance to change over the centuries, is slowly undergoing a process of change significantly. According to Cohen (1981) "households have reputedly been shrinking in size for ten thousand years or more, right up to the present, and this is a result of an evolving technology that requires fewer co-operating people to secure food, rear children, and look after the sick". Though it is generally felt that joint families, whose members were bound together by ties of common ancestry and common property dominate in the past, there are diverging views regarding the same. Gore (1968) says, "the fraternal or collateral joint family was never the most common form". Goode (1968) asserts that the large joint family was not common at any time in India perhaps because of the great forces of fission, initially between daughters-in-law and later between brothers. In a study of three villages


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