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There is no such society in the world, where there is no institution called family. It is found in some form or the other in every society. The needs of man which are fulfilled by the family are not possible through other groups or institutions. This is the reason why man feels the need for family and lives in the family. A person is born helpless in this world, but he is brought up in a family and gradually he learns the customs and manners of the society. That is, socialization of a person takes place in the family itself and he becomes a social animal. Although a person keeps learning something or the other throughout his life, but he gets the initial education of social life in the family. So family is the most important center. The existence of the society depends to a great extent on the institution called family. Every society has its own culture, which is passed on by the family from one generation to another. The work of maintaining the continuity of the society and its culture is done by the family only. Thus family is found in every society as a universal institution.

  Meaning and Definition of Family


  The word family is derived from the Latin word ‘Famulus’ which includes parents. Children, servants and slaves are also included. Generally, parents and their children are included in the family. Different words have been used for family in different societies. There is no consensus among sociologists regarding the definition of family. Various scholars have expressed their views in their own words. Some important definitions are being mentioned here

According to Maclver and Page, “Family is a group, which is based on sexual relations. Its size is small and it arranges for the birth and upbringing of children.” They are – (i) group based on sex relations (ii) limited size (iii) birth of children and (iv) their upbringing. This definition also gives information about the structure of the family and its functions.

  According to (Ogburn and Nimcoff), “Family is a permanent union of husband and wife with children or a permanent union of a woman or a man living alone with children.” And there are children or a woman or a man lives with the child, that is, even when one of the husband and wife is not there, the union with the children is called family.

While giving the definition of family, Kingsley Davis has said that family is a group of persons, in which people are related to each other on the basis of matrimonial relationship and they are also related to each other by blood.

Gisbert also gave the same definition of family as Ogburn, saying that “Ordinarily a family consists of a permanent relationship between a man and a woman with one or more children.

  According to Burgess and Locke, ‘Family is a group of persons, organized by ties of marriage, blood or adoption, forming a household, consisting of husband-wife, parents, son- Daughters and siblings interact with each other for their social functions and create and maintain a common culture.

It is clear from the above definitions that a family is a group of persons organized by marriage and blood relations. There are direct and primary relations between them. It is a sustainable organisation, in which the needs of the people are met and they are bound together by a sense of togetherness. MacIver gave his definition

Sex relations have been described as the basis of the family. Through the institution of marriage, husband and wife are allowed to have sexual relations in the family, as a result of which children are born and the continuity of the society is maintained.



Characteristics of Family


  Emotional Basis – Emotional relations are found between the members of the family. The feeling of love, co-operation, sympathy, sacrifice and affection keeps on rising among them. These qualities are not seen in any other committee or organization. The family rests on these emotional foundations. This is also the basis of the close relationship between all the members of the family which gives it stability.

Limited Size – The size of the family is limited. Usually the family consists of husband and wife and their children, but apart from these there are other close blood relatives also. The size of the family depends on the structure of the society. In rural and simple society, the size of the family is relatively large, but in the modern and complex society, the size of the family is getting smaller day by day. Only husband and wife and their unmarried children live in it.

  Formative Influence – The family has a formative influence. The family plays a very important role in the formation of a person’s essence. Every society has its own rules and methods which a person learns through the family. Family makes a person compatible with the society. It transforms the individual from a biological being to a social being. The habits and behaviors that a person adopts at the initial stage of life, he does not forget them throughout his life. It becomes the quality of his personality. All the members of the family have a constructive influence on each other.

  A Mating relationship – A man and a woman form a family through marriage. This relationship is for a short time or for a lifetime. There is definitely some form of marriage in different societies of the world. Through matrimonial relations, men and women are bound as husband and wife and fulfill the responsibilities of the society. Breakdown of marital relations leads to disintegration of the family.

  A form of marriage – There is a form of marriage in every society. It is found in different forms in different places. For example, monogamous family is prevalent in some society and polygamous family in some society. It is clear from this that there is a form of marriage institution, which is prevalent in a particular society. ,

  A system of nomenclature Each family is known by a name. This name is called surname or surname. The family is the basis of a person’s lineage. This genealogy runs on the basis of the lineage of the father and the mother.

  A common habitation is a common habitation of every family, where all its members reside. Mutual relationship and closeness remains between them only when they reside in a common place. The sense of duty and responsibility also remains active among them. Due to living in a common place, the husband and wife are able to give birth to children and bring them up. All the members of the family work by being inspired by the ‘feeling of us’.

Universality – The family is a universal group. In any society of the world, be it modern or traditional, urban or rural, complex or simple, family is definitely found there. There may be difference in the form of family in different places, but it is definitely found in some form or the other. Human society cannot be imagined without family. Through this the basic needs of man are fulfilled, whose fulfillment is not possible by any other group. Hence family is a universal group

  Permanent and temporary nature of family When the family is considered as a group of individuals, then it is temporary and if it is considered as a collection of rules, then it is permanent. If we keep in mind the rules of the family, such as marriage, the rules of inheritance of property, etc., then we find that these rules are always present. In this sense the family is of permanent nature. But when membership is taken into account, then its members can end and be destroyed, such as marriage, separation, death etc. From this point of view the family is temporary. It means to say that the family is permanent as an institution, which is temporary as a society.





Types of Family


  Family is a universal group. It is found in some form or the other in every society. Different forms of family are found in different societies. The form of family is determined according to the culture of the society. The family can be divided on various grounds in the society. Some of the major types are mentioned here


Types of Family on the basis of Number of Members


Nuclear Family – This type of family consists of husband, wife and their unmarried children. In the modern era, the prevalence of the central family is increasing day by day. Generally their member number is limited to 5-6 only. Under this, other relatives in the family are not included.

As soon as the children get married when they become adults, they become a separate family. The central family is actually a product of industrialization and urbanization.

Joint Family In addition to the central family, close relatives and blood relatives are also included in the joint family. Generally, members of many generations in this type of family live in a common place, their food is also prepared in a kitchen and their property is also collective. Joint family runs according to socialist ideology. Its members earn money according to their ability and power, but it is consumed equally by all the members of the family. It means to say that all the members spend money according to their need. Whether a person produces more or less, everyone is allowed to consume equally. Joint family is the main feature of Indian society. Such families are still found in rural areas. In a joint family, the entire power of the family is concentrated in the head. The chief takes the final decision in all matters. Every member of the family has to accept the decision of the head. Parents do not take decisions regarding the division of property, marriage and education of children, rather the decision of the head of the family is final. The size of such a family is large because the number of members in it is very high.

Extended Family – When the joint family is widely spread, it is called an extended family. Here the inheritance remains the same. The feeling of heredity keeps them tied in a thread. In the extended family, some close generations may also live in one residence and one economic unit, but some are also divided as separate units. This type of structure remains loose and scattered. This family is very popular in the society of Africa.

Mixed Family – A mixed form of characteristics of both nuclear family and joint family is seen in the mixed family. In industrial and urban areas, the family functions in a centralized or isolated form. But theoretically he is bound to the joint family. Despite being a member of a joint family, he leads a lonely life in the cities. As a result, gradually their attachment to the joint family decreases. But the consciousness of joint family remains at the mental level. Because of this, they jointly participate in marriages, social, cultural and religious occasions. In this way, the mixed family is similar to the central family on the economic level and the joint family on the mental level. The number of such families is increasing in the urban areas of India. Their organization and size are of medium level.







  Family distinctions on the basis of marriage.


 (Types of Family on Marriage Basis)


Monogamous Family – In this type of family, a woman has a marital relationship with a man. A man or woman is allowed to remarry only after the death of the husband or wife or divorce. The size of a monogamous family is very small. Only husband-wife and their children are involved in this. This family is more prevalent in civilized society. The form of monogamous family is found in most of the societies of the world. Along with progress in civilization, the number of monogamous families is also increasing. Polygamous Family – In this type of family, a woman has a marital relationship with many women of the same sex with many men. From this point of view give polygamous family. is of type

Polygynous Family: In this type of family a man has many wives. That is, a man establishes marital relations with many women at a time. In this type of family, authority and power are in the hands of men. The social and economic status of men is higher than that of women. Generally, when the number of women is more in the tribal society, this type of family is seen. Such families are more common among Muslims because they have religious permission to have more than one wife. Due to the passing of 1955 Marriage Act among Hindus, such families have been banned. But even today the number of polygamous families is more than that of polyandry.

Polyandrous Family: In this type of family a woman has many husbands. At present, the trend of such family is found in the Khas of Jaunsar Babar region (Dehradun) and Tod tribe of Nilgiri. If all the husbands of the woman are brothers, then it is called Fraternal Polyandrous family and if there is no brother-brother or blood relation, then it is called Non-fraternal Polyandrous family. family). In such families, women do not go to their husbands’ homes. Therefore, these families are generally maternal and matrilineal as well. In non-polygamous families, men go to the woman’s house together or on different occasions at the woman’s wish. Polyandry family is practiced in that society where the number of women is very less as compared to men.

Punaluan Family – When many brothers or many men

When a couple marries several women, then such a family group is called a married family. In such a family all the men are equal husbands to all the women.

   Types of Family on the basis of Authority


  Patriarchal Family: In this type of family, the father is the head of the family. The father and the man take the final decision regarding all the matters of the family. Other members of the family follow his orders. Generally, patriarchal family is patrilocal and patrilineal family. After marriage, the wife resides at her husband’s house. The right to property is transferred from father to son. Most of the families in India are patriarchal. Hindus especially have more such families.

Matriarchal Family – In this type of family women are paramount. The status of women in the family is higher than that of men. Only women take the final decision on all matters related to the family and that decision is acceptable to all the members. In such a family, usually women do not go to their husband’s house after marriage, rather the man stays at his wife’s house. Direction and control in any subject is done by the mother. This does not mean that men are deprived of all rights. Men do the work that is worthy of men. Matriarchal family is also matrilineal and matrilocal family. In a matrilineal family, property is passed from mother to daughter. Men have no right on property. In this type of family, the man gets the right, but that man is not the husband of the woman, but her brother. A man gets his rights not from his parents but from his sister. The meaning of saying is that in such families there is primacy of woman or mother. Matriarchal family is prevalent in the Khasi tribe of Assam. Matriarchal families are found among the Nairs of Garo and Malabar. In such a family, the socio-economic status of women is higher than that of men.


   Types of Family on the basis of Descent


Patrilineal Family – The patrilineal family is run by the name of the father’s lineage. After marriage, women adopt the surname of their husbands. , The Hindu family is a patrilineal family. Is


Matrilineal Family – The matrilineal family is run by the name of the mother’s lineage. There is no importance of father’s lineage in this. Their children are known by the surnames of women and mothers. In such a family, women do not go to their husband’s house after marriage, rather the man stays at his wife’s house. Daughters get the family name from the mother. This type of family is prevalent among the Nairs of Malabar. Here the lineage of the mother is more important.

Types of Family on the basis of Locality


Patrilocal Family – In a patrilocal family, all the members of the family live at the residence of the father or male. After marriage, the wife goes to her husband’s house. The residence of the family – tradition runs from the side of the father or male officer. This type of family is prevalent among Hindus, Muslims and Bhil, Khadiya tribes. Such a family is also patriarchal and patrilineal.

Matrilocal Family – In matrilocal family, all the members of the family live at the residence of the mother or woman. After marriage, the wife does not go to her husband’s house, rather the husband starts living at the wife’s residence, this type of family is also matrilineal and matrilineal. Matrilineal family is found in Nair, Khasi and Garo tribes of Malabar in India. (iii) Neo-Local Family – Such families neither settle at the residence of the husband nor at the residence of the wife, but they settle at a different place from both. In the modern era, such families reside in employment, job and industrial centers where a person works. For example, today’s urban family, the person settles where they get work.




  Types of Family on the basis of Relations


Consanguineous Family – In this type of family, persons of the same blood establish marriage relations with each other. That’s why it is called similar blood family. This type of family is found in Muslims.

Co-operative family (Conjugal family) – In the co-operative family, persons of different blood establish the relation of husband and wife. That’s why it is called cooperative family. This type of family is considered good from the point of view of fertility science. Such a family is prevalent among Hindus. Cooperative family is prevalent in other civilized societies as well.


Functions and Importance of Family


  The family is a unique organization. It is created automatically and it is also essential for humans. Such tasks and needs of a person are fulfilled by the family, which are not possible to be fulfilled by other organizations. That’s why family has a very important place in human life. The importance of family has been accepted since ancient times. Till date, no such organization has been formed, which is related to the family.

Can take place Hence it is indispensable. As a result of the various functions of the family, man has been able to reach the pinnacle of civilization today. Important functions of the family are being mentioned here.

Social Functions: The family is the smallest unit of the society. As a fundamental unit of the society, it performs many important functions. First, socialization – from the individual to the biological being. The process of turning into a social animal is the process of socialization. The process of socialization starts from the family itself. Parents bring up the children and introduce them to the customs and ideals of the society. Children imitate what they see their parents doing. Gradually children learn the rules of the society and become active as social animals. Second, social control – every society has its own rules and procedures. The society expects its members to behave according to these methods. Human being is such a creature by nature, who starts doing arbitrary things on getting a little exemption. If everyone starts acting arbitrarily, then a situation of disorder will arise in the society. Therefore, the society imposes restrictions on the behavior of its members, so that they act according to the rules. For this, society puts pressure on the behavior of individuals through various means. Family is one of the main means of social control. When a person works in favor of the society, then he is appreciated by the family. If a person acts against the society, then the family members do not recognize him. Therefore, he is motivated and encouraged to act according to social customs.

Cultural Functions – Transfers cultural elements from one generation to another. Children become aware of their culture in the family itself. The elders in the family learn the natural characteristics and then teach them to the new generation. Due to this, the culture of one generation is transferred to another generation and its flow remains. The family tries to teach cultural characteristics to its members. Therefore, the personality of a person is formed according to the culture.

Psychological Functions – The most important function of the family is to provide mental security and satisfaction to its members. Along with physical security, mental security is also necessary for human life. Love, sympathy, sacrifice, patience and harmony are found among the family members. This gives a person emotional security. They give a lot of support to each other even in happiness and sorrow. He never felt lonely. This gives mental satisfaction to the person. In other groups, the person is not able to determine himself mentally and neither does he get mental satisfaction.

Recreational Function – Family is the center of entertainment. All the members of the family get entertained. Small children listen to stories from grandmother and grandmother in the evening, this entertains them. When young people return home tired from outside, half of their tiredness is removed by the tinkling voices of small children. Within the family, people are also entertained through festivals, bhajan-kirtan etc. All the members of the family entertain themselves in their own way. Family is equally important from the point of view of entertainment in rural and urban areas. Now with the prevalence of television, all the members enjoy it together. Even today the family is fulfilling the function of entertainment as before. Apart from this, the family also has a role in the political sphere. It is the work of the family to make an ideal citizen. The family also instructs its members regarding voting. The family also imparts religious education to its members. One or the other religion is definitely followed in every family. In this regard, the family gives knowledge to the members, due to which their life becomes moral and pure.


Biological functions – In biological function, the family performs three important functions. Fulfillment of timely needs – Family is the only place where social acceptance is fulfilled. If a person arbitrarily starts fulfilling his sexual needs. Then a situation of disorder will arise in the society. human no longer human animal

Will become The family regulates the sexual behavior of men and women through its institution of marriage and maintains order in the society. Secondly, procreation – not only the sexual needs are fulfilled in the family, but the work of procreation is also done. The society gives recognition only to the child born in the family. The continuity of the society is maintained by the generation of children. In this way, the family works to maintain the existence of the society through child production. Third, the continuity of racial elements – Man maintains the continuity of his racial elements through the family. The human race has become immortal only because of the birth of children. In this way the family does the work of keeping the racial elements alive.

Functions related to physical security

referred to Physical Security) – In addition to biological functions, the family also performs functions related to physical security of its members. Many types of works come under this. Firstly, physical protection – under the family, old, helpless, orphan, widow and sick members get physical protection. If a member of the family becomes crippled and disabled, then he is not removed from the family, if the parents die, then their children are not helpless, but other members take care of them. On the unnatural death of her husband, women do not have to wander door to door. Other family members support him. In this way we see that the family does the work related to the physical protection of its members. In no other group or organization does a person get this type of protection. Second, child rearing – When a child is born, it is just a mannequin of flesh and bones. In the family, the parents prepare him as a nurturer. If there is no family, it will be difficult to bring up children. Compared to other animals, it takes a long time for a human child to stand on its feet. In such a situation, the work of his maintenance is done in the family.


Apart from the parents, the elders also take care of the children. Thirdly, arrangement of food – Food is very essential for the existence of the body and its efficiency. The family does the work of arranging food for its members. The family has been doing this work since time immemorial. Thus the main function of the family is to arrange food for its members. Without it, neither a person can survive nor the formation of society is possible. Fourth, arrangement of residence – The family arranges residence for its members. When the residence is arranged, the person’s body is protected from cold, heat and rain. The person feels more secure when the residence is arranged by the family. Fifth, arrangement of clothes – Along with the arrangement of living, it is also necessary to have arrangement of clothes. Warm clothes for winter and light clothes for summer are arranged by the family. It is clear from this that it is the work of the family to arrange clothes according to the season.

Economic Functions: The family is an economic unit. Economic resources are used by the family in the society. In the economic field also important work is being done by the family, first, the production unit – the work of production is done by the family. The family is still the center of economic production in primitive society and rural society. All the members of the family take part in economic activities together. The importance of family as a unit of economic production has started decreasing in urban and industrial areas, but even today it is important in simple society. Second, Division of Labour: The family does the work of division of labor among its members. In the primitive society, the family used to distribute the work among its members on the basis of gender discrimination. Generally women used to take care of the house and children and men used to take care of hunting and outdoor work. baby chores


Used to do and elders used to complete the responsible work. Even today there is division of work in the family. The person who deserves the work is entrusted with that work. Generally women do household work and men do outside work. Third, succession determination – The succession of property is determined by the family. Every society has its own rules. According to the culture and ideals of the family, the property is transferred from one generation to the other generation members. It means to say that the family decides who is the rightful heir of the property. In matriarchal matrilineal and matrilineal families, the property is inherited from the mother to the daughter. On the contrary, in patriarchal, patrilineal and patrilocal families, property is inherited from father to son. In this way the family has been doing the work related to inheritance of property. Fourth, Management of income and property – There is also management of income and property in the family. It is the head of the family who decides on what and how much the income will be spent. If wealth is to be created then what will be its form, i.e. will it be cash or jewelery or land. It means to say that the family manages to spend its income properly.


  Bierstedt has divided the functions of the family into two parts to make it more clear. In the work that the family does, it does some work for the individual and some for the society. The work done for one affects the other as well. The work done by them can be understood in the following way Work for the person


  1. Providing facilities for life. work for society
  2. Reproduction and continuity of animals.
  3. Sexual control.
  4. Providing livelihood.
  5. Cultural transmission.
  6. Providing social position.
  7. Providing sexual opportunities.
  8. Providing security and support.
  9. Socialization.
  10. Social identity of the individual




  Problems of Family


  At present, there have been some such changes in the family due to which many problems have arisen in front of it. These problems affect not only social life but

That the existence of the family has also been questioned. The bond between family members has started to weaken. These people, despite appearing together on the outside, remain distant internally. All these things have changed the attitudes, values and thoughts of the family members. As a result, the family is disintegrating, this family disintegration creates a situation of social disintegration. Eliot and Merrill have written – In family disintegration, dysfunction, disharmony and separation are possible in the bond found between family members. That is, the feeling of albad starts emerging among the family members and a situation of disharmony arises, which is called family disintegration.

Martin Neumayer said that family disintegration is a condition in which unanimity among the members of the family ends, feelings like self-sacrifice, cooperation and love are not found. They are with each other. feel different. Family awareness ends between them. Some of the major problems facing the family today are as follows

   Increase in the spirit of individualism and selfishness – The modern era is the era of individualism and selfishness. The basis of family life is not selfishness, but sacrifice and sacrifice. Today people have become selfish. People think about personal interest and profit instead of thinking about general interest and profit. In such a situation, there has been a decrease in familiarity and closeness between the members of the family, family bonds have started weakening, along with it, the bond of kinship is also getting loose. As a result, different types of problems are arising in the family. The person has started taking interest in the nuclear family by separating from the joint family.

  The competition for physical comforts – urbanization, industrialization and multiplicity of businesses have provided different types of opportunities in front of the people and on the other hand have also affected the general life style. Today husband and wife work in a corporate house. There is no fixed period for their work there. When they come back home late in the evening or at night, there is not enough communication between themselves and with the children. Children do not get the care and love they should get from their parents. His children came. , They grow up with the help of crèches, baby sitting and boarding schools. That kind of emotional in such children. Relationships do not develop as in foster children between family members.

Divorce problem – There has been a fundamental change in the basis of marriage in the present day family. Earlier marriage was considered a religious sacrament. But today it has become a compromise. This has weakened the marriage relationship and has increased the chances of divorce between husband and wife. Census data shows that the process of divorce has increased in India. Earlier divorce was limited to the lower castes but today it is being found in every section of the society. Divorce weakens the organization of the family and ultimately leads to disintegration.

  Limited family size The family size is getting smaller day by day. Joint family system was prevalent in ancient and rural India. As a result of industrialization, urbanization, modern education and women’s liberation movement, people’s faith in joint family system has started decreasing. Due to abundance of employment and business opportunities, people started working in different areas. As a result of this type of mobility, the joint family has started breaking up and the form of family has become limited to husband, wife and their children.

Development of Alternative Institutions Many such institutions have emerged in the society today, which perform the traditional functions of the family very well. Needs like fulfillment of sexual desires, upbringing of children and social security are now being fulfilled not only within the family but also outside the family. Due to this, there is a lack of emotional and emotional relations between the members of the family. In the end, it creates a situation of family disintegration.

  Difference of social values When different members of the family have different values, then a situation of family disintegration arises. In the present era, in every family there is a struggle between the new generation and the old generation regarding social values. The elders of the house insist on following the old traditions, ideals and values of their times, while the youth of the new generation consider them useless, illogical and useless. Such conflicts create a situation of family disintegration.

Apart from the above problems, today’s family has another serious problem – old age and disability. In a large family, the responsibility of taking care of sick, helpless, handicapped, orphans, widows and destitute persons was considered a collective responsibility rather than that of an individual. The old man and the handicapped all lived a normal life with 2 people. Desolation, emptiness and lack of feeling of disdain was found in his life. They felt a sense of love and sympathy towards themselves from the members which inspired them to live, to be happy and to be busy.






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