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.
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 the society
affect the family are:
With the change in culture, the membership, residence pattern and
mode of interaction within a family also changes. For example, in
a matrilineal society the 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, increase in the inter-personal
relationships leads to a joint family.
During 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 broader political change influencing the family.
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 in
tents. Similarly, in 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.
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