Find out how membership, residence pattern and even the mode of interaction changes in the family with broader economic, political and cultural changes, for instance migration. - Sociology

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Answer in Brief

Find out how membership, residence pattern, and even the mode of interaction changes in the family with broader economic, political, and cultural changes, for instance, migration.

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Family is an institution where its members live together under one roof and have cordial relationships. It is affected by broader political, economic, and cultural activities of the society. Some examples of the way these activities of society affect the family are:

Cultural Change

With the change in culture, the membership, residence pattern, and mode of interaction within a family also changes. For example, in a matrilineal society, women play a major role in decision-making in the family. However, in a patriarchal society, men exercise authority and dominance over the family.

Another example of cultural change is the preference or resistance towards individualism. If the members of a family are individualistic, then there are chances of having a nuclear family. On the other hand, an increase in inter-personal relationships leads to a joint family.

Political Change

During the post-unification period in the 1990s, Germany witnessed a rapid decline in the number of marriages because the new German state withdrew all the protection and welfare schemes which were provided to the families prior to the unification. This is an example of a broader political change influencing the family.

Economic Change

When a society undergoes economic changes, even the family gets affected indirectly. For example, industrialisation has led to the emergence of nuclear families and women have also adopted instrumental roles in the family.


Due to economic instability in a society, people migrate in search of work. For example, people from a flood-affected village migrate to cities in search of new homes and new jobs. In some cases, women stay at their village and perform household activities, while the husbands migrate to the city for work.

Migration also leads to a change in the housing pattern because the people who migrate from villages have to live in slums and intents. Similarly, in the village they live with their parents and other relatives but in the city, they either have to stay alone or with their husband or wife and children only. This change depicts a change in the membership pattern of the family.

Concept: Family, Marriage and Kinship
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NCERT Class 11 Sociology - Introducing Sociology
Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institutions
Exercise | Q 2 | Page 61

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