Forms of Family




Forms of Family:

Family is broadly classified into two forms based on its structure into :

(a) Joint Family: Joint family consists of two or more generations living under the same roof and sharing a common kitchen. The joint family is considered as a very strong feature of rural society in India. A joint family is sometimes called ‘Extended family’.

(b) Nuclear Family: Nuclear family consists of two generations, parents and their children. Nuclear families are commonly seen in urban areas.

  • On the basis of authority within the family, two broad forms of the family can be identified,

Matriarchal family and Patriarchal family:

Authority rests at the hands of the mother in a matriarchal family. She is considered the head of the family. The eldest male is regarded as the head of the patriarchal family. All authority rests at the hands of the male head.
Matriarchal families follow a matrilineal system of lineage i.e. descent through mother’s line. The patriarchal family is also patrilineal i.e., the descent is traced through father’s line.
Residence after marriage is matrilocal i.e. the bridegroom lives with the wife’s family. Residence after marriage is patrilocal. The married couple lives with the husband’s family.
The name follows the mother’s line. It is matronymic. The name of the father’s side continues to the next generation. It is patronymic.
The Garo and Khasi tribes of North East India and the Nairs of South India follow the matriarchal system. The most widespread form of family in India and most parts of the world is the patriarchal family.
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