Joint Family in India Introduction Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Joint Family in India


  • Term coined by Henry Maine
  • In a Hindu Joint Family, there is emotion and characteristic of jointness
  • Thus, different from extended family.
  • Extended family, he argued, is an economic management solely

Dimensions of Joint Family According to Maine

Dimensions of Joint Family According to Maine

Emergence of Joint Family

  • Not found Pan India
  • Only among the wealthy landowning people in North India – Pauline Kolenda
  • Land was the basis of togetherness
  • Not found among landless poor classes


  • Authoritarian structure
  • Fixed rights and joint responsibilities - I. P. Desai
  • Property – T. N. Madan, F. G. Bailey
  • Generational depth
  • Common residence/roof – Iravati Karve, S. C. Dube, B. S. Cohen and K. M. Kapadia
  • Joint emotions – Allen Ross
  • Common hearth
  • Fixed hierarchy
  • Productive unit
  • Common place of worship

NOTE: Hindu Property law – undivided property as Joint family


  • Socialization
  • Economic security
  • Social security
  • Discipline and control
  • Stability
  • Division of labour
  • We feeling
  • Cooperation
  • Recreational activities

Changes in Institution of Joint Family

  • Fissioned families are increasing in number
  • Reducing size of joint family
  • Neo local residence – children living separately from parents after marriage
  • Functional jointness
  • Women rights and movements
  • Equal rights
  • Urbanisation and Industrialisation
  • Mate selection
  • Weakening of family norms – Particularism to Universalism

Disadvantages of Joint Family

  • Curbs individualism
  • Lack of privacy
  • Authoritarian nature
  • Compromises on individual will and aspirations
  • Irresponsible reproduction
  • Quarrels
  • Low status of women
  • Some members stay unemployed, lazy and still get money and respect


Q. 1. Who is of the view that, “a joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, who eat food cooked at one hearth, who hold property in common, who participate in common family worship, and who are related to each other as some particular type of kindred.” ?

i. K. M. Kapadia

ii. I. P. Desai

iii. Iravati Karve

iv. M. S. Gore

Answer: iii

Q. 2. Which one of the following is NOT true about the disintegration of joint family system?

i. There is increased urbanization

ii. Women are aware about subjugation by patriarchy

iii. Weak family norms

iv. People today do not value privacy and individuality

Answer: iv

Q. 3. With reference to the traditional Indian family, Universalism means ________

i. Assigning work on the basis of skills, qualifications and training

ii. Assigning opportunity and rewards on the basis of membership in family

iii. A model of family followed pan India

iv. None of these

Answer: i

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0: 00 Joint Family In India

0: 10 Introduction of Joint Family

0: 38 Dimensions of Joint Family According To Maine

0: 51 Emergence of Joint Family

1: 33 Characteristics of Joint Family

3: 16 Functions of Joint Family

4: 46 Changes In Institution of Joint Family

8: 22 Disadvantages of Joint Family

9: 55 MCQ About Joint Family

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