We live in a world surrounded by social networking platforms like twitter, Skype, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc., where staying in constant face to face contact isn’t necessary but liking a everyday uploaded post is essential, changing your display picture on Facebook and WhatsApp depicts your amount of social activeness whereas talking to your elder or family member is considered boring. An ideology running from conservatism and towards more progressive one, living a life with some orthodox pair of thoughts and beliefs might get rough. How many time have we heard about the clash of ideologies in the house, where grandparents feel something else, parents feel something else and the current generation has the totally different approach to circumstances of the house. The system we are discussing is the joint family system.
Before going through with the pros and cons of the system, let’s broaden our horizon about what this system has in it, what is this system. As defined by the different theorist, a joint family or undivided family is an extended family arrangement where more than one generation lives together in a common house. A joint family is a form of the family where the grandparents, father, mother and children live united under one roof. This joint family system is prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India. In this family system, the son doesn’t distant himself from rest of the family after the marriage but stays with them.
As the part of the joint family system, there are often some expectations or duties to keep the bound enticed, to make some financial contribution to the common fund, even has equal right in family property, an everyday meal should prepare in the common kitchen and daily expenditure is done from the common fund. With the presence many male individuals, the eldest one is the head of the joint family. He is in command to take an economic and social decision on behalf of the family.
- The joint family system works on fair economy principle. We can also say a joint family in some way or the other is an amalgam of democracy and communalism. People who are more economically able shall share some of the burden of those who are not.
- Naturally, in the joint family system, cousins stay together, play together, study together, quarrel together and are even punished together; hence it develops a sense of discrimination-free environment and thoughts.
- The basic necessities of all the family members are taken care of. Each member is guaranteed a minimum subsistence of living
- It works as supports for all the member of the family. The old and elders are cared and respected. The widows and divorced aren’t disowned but treated as one.
- The spirit of oneness always prevails in the family
- The joint family somewhere develops a parasitic behavior of the member, who loves to feed on other’s income. Hence, exploit the goodness of the host.
- Sometimes, in the worst case scenario, the crooked to conspires to torture the innocent family members.
- This system even doesn’t allow individuals to prosper or have a dignified life. The system imposes some liabilities over inferior members.
- The cost of education is high. The members with high earning want their kids to study in costly schools whereas every member can’t afford this.
- In these large families, the most important decisions are made by the head of the family. All the thoughts and ideas of individuals aren’t entertained and sometimes aren’t even considered. They don’t have an opportunity to participate in major decisions of the family.
Even with a number of cons, a joint family can still run and survive, if the members remain committed to each other. The feeling of togetherness and selflessness is the essence of a joint family.