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Joint Families

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A family when lives together with all family members up to 2nd generation like grandparents, parents, uncle, aunts and their children is called a joint family. The importance of joint family is understood by the Indians since time immemorial.

This is mostly because of the cohesive nature of the Indian society, and also reportedly helps in handling pressure and stress.

In the joint family, all members are equally sharing all expenses, works and other things with the other members of the family so the burden of work will not be felt by any single person. All children get equal share of love, care, guidance and education by the elder grandparents so that they never miss anything in their whole life. Similarly they can also easily get help from their parents.

 

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The importance of a joint family

It is the best pattern of living that is most conducive to the growth.

It is based on a principle of fair economy. It holds it as a rule of creation that all men are not equal. Naturally it imposes a kind of unwritten discipline that those who are more able economically shall share some of the burden of those who are not.

Small children will get teaching guidance from their uncle, aunts, and other family members. The sharing resources with the cousins and sisters help parents to decrease the expenses on their child.

On the eve of big occasions like marriage, birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, etc., the work can easily be shared with all members so that the event will be successful. This is bringing down the burden from the parents.

The spirit of oneness prevails in a Joint family system.

 

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Family structure

Historically, for generations India had a prevailing tradition of the joint family system or undivided family. The system is an extended family arrangement prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, consisting of many generations living in the same home, all bound by the common relationship. A patrilineal joint family consists of an older man and his wife, his sons and daughters and his grandchildren from his sons and daughters.

The family is headed by a senior person called a karta, usually the oldest male, who makes decisions on economic and social matters on behalf of the entire family. The patriarch's wife generally exerts control over the household and minor religious practices and often wields considerable influence in domestic matters. Family income flows into a common pool, from which resources are drawn to meet the needs of all members, which are regulated by the heads of the family.  However, with urbanisation and economic development, India has witnessed a break up of traditional joint family into more nuclear-like families, and the traditional joint family in India accounted for a small number of Indian households.

 

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