Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 12 Sociology Solutions Unit 2 Indian Social Structure Long Answer Questions Part-2.
CHSE Odisha 12th Class Sociology Unit 2 Indian Social Structure Long Answer Questions Part-2
Long Questions With Answers
Discuss various factors affecting the caste system.
What are the causes responsible for the disintegration of the caste- system?
The caste system, under the impact of certain powerful factors, is undergoing drastic changes in modem India. Under the impact of all these powerful forces, wide cracks have already appeared in the walls of the citadel of caste in India. The major factors which are responsible for such changes in the system are
- Modem education
- Modem means of transportation
- Increase in importance of wealth
- New social movements
- Political changes
- The new legal system and
- The Indian constitution.
Modem education has played a major role in undermining the importance of caste in Indian social life. Modem education is secular in nature. So it is on one hand based on such democratic values like equality, liberty and fraternity, on the other hand, it is based on such scientific values like reason and observation. Modem education is also very much indifferent to religion.
With the spread of modem education beliefs like the divine origin of caste. Karma and Karma fala are growing weaker and weaker in the minds of people with the influence of democratic values like equality, Modem man finds it difficult to accept the principle of inherited inequality on which the entire structure of the caste system is based.
In modem educational institutions children of different castes sit side by side in the same classroom, as a result, the feeling of untouchability do not find scope to develop in the minds of children. Modem co-educational institutions also encourage inter-caste marriages based on love, among educated young men and women. Thus, Modem education acts as a very powerful force against caste in India.
The effects of industrialization is very much disastrous on the caste- system. Occupational castes cannot survive in the face of large-scale industrialization. For example, the members of the weaving castes are finding it extremely difficult to follow their traditional caste occupations. Because it is not possible for them to compete with the textile mills in the open markets.
The caste system is based on the rural economy. The tradition of the following caste- occupation gradually crumbled down. The members of all castes are interested and getting employment in modem factories. In a factory people of different castes work together. A Brahmin who works by the side of an un-touchable cannot avoid his touch. So the idea of pollution by touch is losing its ground gradually in an industrial setting.
Urbanisation, which invariably follows industrialization, has also made it impossible to practice caste- restrictions. Under urban conditions of life, the idea of pollution by the touch of a shadow cannot be translated into action. Because it is impossible on one’s part to restrict himself in a dining place, in a hotel, in a shopping centre etc.
Modern means of transportation:
Geographical isolation was a favourable condition for the creation and continuation of the caste- system in India. But modem means of transportation have increased spatial mobility of the people and thereby put an end to geographical isolation. Again while travelling in a bus, train or tram, it is impossible to observe caste rules regarding food, drink and social intercourse.
Increase in importance of wealth:
In the present age, wealth is replacing birth as the basis of social prestige. Hence, caste, which is based on birth, is no longer the basis of social status. In modem society, a rich Shudra is getting more prestige than a poor Brahmin. Hence people while choosing their occupations, give more consideration to income than to occupation.
New social movements:
A number of movements were launched in the past against the caste system. The social movements started by Raja Rammohan Roy, and Dayananda Saraswati could influence the intelligence of the country against the caste- system and other evils of Hindu society.
One of the main aims of the Indian national freedom movement was to abolish all discrimination particularly the caste- a system in Indian society. This movement created a strong public opinion against the caste- system in India. Hence, when India got independence, a democratic form of society abolished all discriminatory practices based on caste, creed, sex, etc. Secondly, ideologies like communism, which is based on the principle of a classless society, have also become popular in India. New groups based on class interests rather than caste interests have emerged in the country.
New legal system:
The new legal system has also played a vital role against the caste- system, as a result, the age-old legal discrimination against the lower castes has been removed. Under the new system, the principle of equality before law has firmly been instituted in legal proceedings. Again with the establishment of judicial courts, the caste, panchayats have lost their power to punish the culprits and enforce the caste rules. Besides a number of acts like. The untouchability Offences Act of 1995 and the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 have been passed, which prove too disastrous to the caste system.
The Indian Constitution:
Our constitution is taking strong steps against the very existence of caste in India Para 15(2) of the constitution which declares all citizens as equal, directly attacks the Hindu social order based on the caste system. It is clear from the above discussion that due to the influence of the above factors the caste- system has been changing in India. But it would be a gross mistake to think that the caste- system has completely disappeared from the Indian scene.
Discuss recent changes in the institution of caste.
Discuss the changing aspects of the caste system in Indian Society.
“Caste has never maintained its traditional forms” – justify the system.
As a consequence of the impact of a number of factors like industrialization, urbanization, modem education, development in modem means of transportation, new social movements, the new legal system, an increase in the importance of wealth, political changes and the constitutional provisions, there have been a number of changes in the caste system. As a result, caste has never maintained its traditional forms.
The changes in the caste systems are –
- The decline in the supremacy of the Brahmin.
- Changes in status structure.
- Development in the socio-economic conditions of the Harijans.
- Changes in the functions of caste.
- Changes in rules regarding marriage.
- Change in restrictions on food, drink and social intercourse.
- Changes in restrictions regarding the choice of occupations.
- Changes in the ideas regarding the doctrine of karma.
The decline in the supremacy of the Brahmin:
Under the caste system, the Brahmin occupied the highest position. The whole system revolved around the prestige of the Brahmin. But today he does not enjoy the same high and dominant social position. For example, in the past, the Brahmin is only allowed to read Vedas, Epics etc. But now other lower caste people are enjoying the position of Brahmin.
Changes in the status structure:
Traditionally caste society was a closed and rigid society. Each caste had its own traditional status in the hierarchy of castes, which was more or less permanently fixed. Besides, every caste had its own style of life, followed exclusively by its members.
It was these differences in the styles of life that made the people of different castes appear distinct from one another. But at present people of lower castes are adopting the lifestyles of higher castes and claiming and actually achieving higher status in society. This process which Srinivas refers as Sanskritization.
Development in the socio-economic conditions of the Harijans:
Thirdly, as a result of the governmental policy of protective discrimination, the socio-economic condition of the Harijans has been considerably improved. As a result, the downtrodden people of the society namely the Harijans have been able to get higher status.
Changes in the functions of caste:
In the fourth place, there are changes in the functions of castes. For example, in a caste system, people get status according to their caste. So the caste system was the determinant of one’s status. But under the changed conditions of modem society, birth is no longer regarded as the basis of social prestige. Today wealth and achievement have replaced birth as the basis of social status. Asa result caste has lost its traditional function of determining the status of an individual in society.
Changes in the rules regarding marriage :
The other important change in the caste- system is marriage. Under the caste system, there were strict rules regulating the choice of mates. Every caste and sub-caste was an endogamous group, each caste was not allowed to marry outside one’s own caste. But nowadays inter-caste marriages are more prevalent in society. The Special Marriage Act and Hindu Marriage Act have removed all the restrictions and declared inter-caste marriage as legally valid.
Changes in restrictions on food, drink and social intercourse:
Sixthly, there are changes in the ideas of pollution and other restrictions on food, drink etc. The higher caste people i.e. Brahmin do not take food and drink from lower caste people. Similarly, if a lower caste people touch a higher caste then the higher caste people got polluted. So there were very many restrictions. But. today these rules have lost their significance in Hindu society.
Changes in restriction regarding the choice of occupation:
In the caste system choice of occupation was not free. Each caste had its own traditional occupation, which its members had invariably to follow. But now- a -days people follow occupations which are not their own caste’s occupation. Nowadays those occupations which arc profitable are followed by people irrespective of their caste. Now a Brahmin works in a leather factory whereas a Shudra is accompanied By a teaching profession, which in traditional society could not be imagined.
Changes in the ideas regarding the doctrine of Karma:
The family caste system has lost its grip on the minds of the people. People have begun to doubt the validity of the caste system. Now, they do not believe in the theory of Karma, or the doctrine of Karma, Karmafala etc. So also they do not believe that the caste system is a divinely ordained institution.
Do you think that the caste system is disappearing from India? Give reasons in support of your opinion.
Discuss the present trends and future of the caste system.
In India, we find a unique system of social stratification based on birth, the like of which is not found elsewhere in the whole world. This system is known as the ‘caste- system’ and divides Indian society into several groups. This caste system transforms into casteism in the evil hand. It has contributed a number of functions to its credit and is also not devoid of dysfunctions.
The caste system serves as a device of the division of labour in society. It integrates society and also brings stability to society. In a traditional way, it determines the status of the individual and it also guides the individual behaviour. The age-old system, i.e. caste system, under the impact of certain powerful factors is undergoing drastic changes in modem India.
At the same time it is right to say that due to modem education, industrialization, urbanization, development in the means of transportation, increase in the importance of wealth, political changes and the new legal system some changes have taken place in the caste- system. As a result, wide cracks have already appeared in the walls of the citadel of caste in India.
Encouraged by the visible changes in the system, some students of the institution have come to believe that the caste system is soon going to dis- integrate in India. But scholars like Prof. Ghurye and Prof. Srinivas do not agree with this view. They on the contrary assert that caste in modem India is becoming stronger and will continue to exist for some time to come.
Dr Ghurye, says that caste will continue to exist in India for some time due to certain factors that are active today in the country. He says that while democracy weakens caste, the method of elections at present strengthens the caste system. As the governmental machinery in a democracy is run by the elected representatives of the people, elections in India have become imperative.
But unfortunately, in this country elections are fought and won on the basis of caste. Candidates contesting elections seek support from their caste fellows by drumming the cause of casteism. These leaders maintain casteism even after the elections by showing special treatment to their caste members. Even political parties are not free from ‘caste politics’.
Political parties in India sponsor candidates having a social base, which is nothing but the numerical strength of the caste of a candidate in the constituency. Thus elections have actually encouraged casteism in India. So caste has assumed political functions and has become stronger today. Dr Ghuiye also says another factor encouraging caste in India, is the special constitutional protection accorded to the scheduled and other backward castes.
The Indian constitution makes special provisions for the protection of these castes in the form of reservations in the central and state legislative government services. In addition, it directs the government to provide many other facilities to them. These constitutional provisions have created casteism among the people of these castes.
Prof. M.N. Srinivas holds that the establishment of a national government for the whole country, the political boundaries of the small independent states, that hitherto acted as barriers and prevented the members of a caste, spread over a large- part of the country, from uniting have disappeared. As a consequence castes especially the larger ones have found it easier to organize themselves on an unprecedented scale.
Hence castes in modem India have become more organized and stronger. Secondly, modem developments in the means of transportation and communication are regarded by him as another potent factor in strengthening caste in India. He is of the opinion that modem means of transportation and communication such as the railways, buses, printing press, postal services, newspapers etc. have enabled the members of castes, scattered all over the country, to come together and discuss problems concerning the interests of their own castes and organize more effectively into large caste associations.
As such, in modem India, castes have actually become more effective and stronger. Besides, no accurate predictions can be made about the future of the caste system in India. Therefore many thinkers would like to be non-committal about its future. But there are scholars like Prof, Srinivas, who believe, that caste is so an organic part of Hindu society and Hindu social organization that it is difficult to conceive of Hindu society without it.
There are other scholars like Prof. Ghurye, who think that caste has outlived its usefulness and therefore it should go. They also believe that Hindu society will sooner or later, be got rid of caste. In modem day, there are already some important changes in the salient features of the system like marriage, occupation, styles of life etc. brought about by forces discussed before.
But at the same time, there are equality powerful factors like the method of elections, protection of the scheduled and other backward castes etc. which encouraged casteism. From the above analysis, it may be said that some more changes will certainly take place in the system. But it is wrong to believe that the system. But it is wrong to believe that the system will altogether be eliminated from Indian social science. It may assume new forms and perform new functions in the changed conditions of modem society.
What do you mean by class? Write an essay regarding the emergence of the class- system in Indian society.
If the caste system is found to be unique to India, the class- system is universal in nature. ‘ Social class’ is a principal type of social stratification found especially in the modem civilized countries. Sometimes the word ‘class’ is used to represent groups of professors, artists, engineers, doctors, students etc. The word ‘class’ is also used to refer to the quality of things whether good, better, best and so on.
But the concept of ‘social class’ is more used in sociology representing a kind of social stratification than anything else. P. Gisbert says “A social class is a category or a permanently determines their relation to other groups.” Ogburn and Nimkoff say that “A Social class is the aggregate of persons having essentially the same social status in a given society.
Maclver and Page define “A social is any portion of the community marked off from the rest by social status”. A social class is understood mainly in two different ways. Firstly, there is the Marxian conception of class. The Marxists define a class in terms of its relation to the means of production. According to them, a class is determined by its possession of such objective, usually economic criteria like wealth, occupation and income.
Secondly, there are thinkers like Maclver, who view class as a status group. But there are also other sociologists like Max Weber who tried to reconcile these two divergent approaches to class in their studies of modem social organization.
Characteristics of social class:
- A social class is essentially a status group.
- Status in the case of the class system is achieved and not ascribed. Birth is not the criterion of status. The achievement of an individual mostly decides his status.
- Class is almost a universal phenomenon which appears in all the modem complex societies of the world.
- A social class is not transitory nor unstable like a crowd or a mob. It is relatively a stable group.
- There is a feeling of equality in relation to members of one’s own class. Individuals belonging to the same social class are expected to maintain a similar standard of life.
- There is a feeling of inferiority and superiority in the social hierarchy.
- The class system is associated with class consciousness, Class consciousness is the sentiment that characterises the relations of men towards the members of their own and other classes.
The emergence of class, as we understand them today, is the direct result of British rule in India. The British in India established a new social economy and a new administrative system. It also introduced modem education and industrialization. These forces give rise to new social classes in Indian society. The British introduced drastic changes in the economy through legislation.
Firstly, private property in the form of Zamindari and Ryotwari systems was recognized and as a result of two classes, namely the zamindars and the peasants came into being. Secondly right to lease, the land created the tenants and sub-tenants. Finally, the right to purchase and sell the land and the right to hire and employ labour on land created conditions for the emergence of such classes as absentee landlords and the agricultural proletariat.
Under the agrarian economic system there developed new classes of intermediaries like money lenders, absentee landlords and merchants. However, it is not to say that merchants and money lenders did not exist in pre-British India They did exist but their position and function in the old economy were fundamentally different. After Independence, the agrarian class structure has undergone radical changes due to the abolition of the zamindari system, ceilings on land holdings, tenancy reforms etc.
As a consequence, the agrarian class structure, at present, consists of two principal classes namely land owners and agricultural labourers.
Under British rule production in India became more and more for the market. The internal market expanded and got linked up with the world market Thus, the class of commercial bourgeoisie came into being.
A large class of merchants grew who were primarily engaged in the import and export of goods from and into India. The new commercial class purchased the agricultural and industrial goods produced in India and sold them in both Indian and world markets. The profits and savings made by the trading class zamindars and wealthy members of professional classes served as the capital for the growth of Indian-owned industries like textile, mining etc.
With the growth of industries, the bourgeoisie and proletariat came into existence. There also grew professional classes comprising lawyers, doctors, teachers, managers, engineers, technologists, and journalists in response to the needs of the new society. In addition to the above-mentioned classes, another class of petty traders and shopkeepers also developed in every town and city.
Along with these new classes, some old classes like the village artisans and urban handicraftsmen also survived and existed side by side in India. C.H. Cooley opines that three principal conditions favour the growth of social classes. They are:-
Marked differences in the constituent parts of the population:
When the population is composed of different races, this racial heterogeneity facilitates the growth of social classes. Little communication and enlightenment: Lack of inter-communication among the people also favours the growth of social distances increase.
A slow rate of social change:
Perhaps the slow rate of society is the principal factor favouring the growth of social classes. When society does not change and condition remains much the same from generation, social classes develop. The Indian society remained static for about three thousand years with the result that untouchables were not permitted to use public wells or enter temples.
Distinguish between ‘Caste and Class’.
Both ‘Caste’ and “Class’ co-exist in Indian society – Justify the statement.
There are a number of points which have so far remained unclarified in regard to the nature of caste and class in India. Caste and class are polar opposites. Caste is being replaced by class; caste is a rural phenomenon whereas clan is found in urban industrial settings. Caste is an ascriptive system and class is based on the achievement principle.
Caste is a closed system and does not allow mobility for its members, whereas class is an open system and allows mobility for its members, India has/had a caste system, hence a ‘caste model’ for studying Indian society and the west has/had classes. Hence a ‘class model’ for studying western societies – is some of the familiar misconceived notions about caste and class in India.
However, these notions are rooted in the historicity of Indian society and its culture including British and post-independence academic colonialism. Battelle does not offer a ‘class analysis’ of Indian society as an alternative to the ‘caste – model’, In fact, he suggests a sort of modification of the caste model by putting an emphasis on the study of economic and political activities of inter-caste relations.
However, he points out that it could be wrong to consider India as a ‘caste society and the united states as a ‘class society and Europe as a ‘caste society. Bettie takes a clue from Leach, Bailey and Dumont who have offered a ‘caste- model’ of Indian society. The essence of the views of Leach, Bailey and Dumont is that caste is a non-competitive system, the castes are non-antagonistic strata.
Competition refers to class and cooperation refers to caste. This is really a very erroneous view about both class and caste and more so about the understanding of caste, in India. Bailey refers to caste groups which cooperate and do not compete. But western scholars including Leach look at the caste system from the viewpoint of class in western societies.
Leach finds competition within the ‘dominant caste’ and not between the dominant caste and other castes. Ketkar mentions hereditary membership and endogamy as the most striking features of the caste, system in India. Funeral, Hutton and Sherring observe that the caste system is ‘functional’ for Indian society. Ghurye refers to six features of the caste system and upholds the endogamy of its essence.
Other students of Indian society have also provided a view that either refers to the uniqueness of the caste system or they have viewed it from the viewpoint of their own society. Marx related to Asiatic mode of production to the stability of the caste system in India. H.J.S. Maine referred to caste as an example of a non-contractual4 status society’ Senate.
Hocart and Dumont have emphasized ritual Criteria and pollution Purity as the basis of Hindu society. Weber considered caste as a system of status groups based on the other world by doctrines of Hinduism. At the same time scholars of the west glorified the class system with a view to establishing the superiority of western society and culture, Class was considered an open system, the individual was given freedom of movement under the system and achievement was the essence of the system.
In contrast to caste system was a closed system, the individual could not move up the hierarchy and it was a system based on aspiration. Caste and class were polar opposites. Caste was considered a feature of an archaic society like India and class was considered a characteristic feature of the industrially advanced achievement based on western society.
This clearly shows that western scholars mainly the American and the British tried to establish their hegemony by academic propaganda. Maclver and Page do not define class strictly in the economic sense. They refer to status’ as the basis of what they call the social class”. T.H. Marshall. T. Parsons, K. Davis and W. Moore. T.B. Bottomore and Richard centres decline class either in terms of status or in psychological terms.
The perfect example of the definitions of caste cis-a-vis class is found in India and class is a feature of the western world. Berreman recently published essay which has been written over a period of two decades emphasises that ‘caste-based’ inequalities in India are not different from race-based inequalities in the United States of America. Gough has been highlighting the class basis of the caste system in India.
N.K. Byse refers to the class genesis of the caste structure in Bengal. Changes from caste to class are noted by Mishra, Beteille, Miller and Kolenda. A class analysis of Indian society in general and the caste system and village community, in particular, is found in A.R. Desai’s edited work on rural sociology. D. Souza decisively concludes that class is replacing caste and the individual is replacing the group.
Beteille realized that caste alone is not the totality of social stratification and that caste is not being replaced by class. Class in India is generally seen as a consequence of a change in the caste system and not as a concomitant and co-existent system separate from caste. Dube and Singh both realize that the concepts of caste and class have been basically Western and therefore ignore the historicity of Indian society in their formulations.
Caste has been taken as synonymous with the social formation of Indian society and therefore class is treated as an alternative system to caste. However the fact is that neither does caste refer to the totality of social formations nor is class the polar opposite of caste, caste and class; caste, class and power, caste, religion and power and caste, class and politics do not provide a corrective to the caste alone approach.
These studies are rooted in the falsity of the western dichotomy of tradition and modernity and the trilogy of class, status and party. They do not incorporate the existence of Indian society into the concepts of caste, class and power etc. Hence they are inadequate in rescuing us from these aline concepts and theories. Class in India has existed along with caste and power.
Caste incorporates class and class incorporates caste in the Indian context. ‘Neither the ‘caste alone’ view nor the class alone’ perspective will help in a proper and fuller understanding of Indian society. Castes have been functioning as classes for all practical considerations. The Varna and the Jajmani system can be explained in terms of class relations.
The main classes today in India are – the agrarian classes, the industrial classes, the business and the mercantile classes and the professional classes. Industrial, business and professional classes characterize urban India and land owners, tenants, and agricultural labourers are found in the countryside.
What is a joint family? Discuss its characteristics.
An Indian family is based upon the sanctity of domestic life and value commitments which make it intimate, personal and durable Family for an Indian is a sacred institution in which the interrelationship between husband and wife, father and son. brother and sister is booked by religious and spiritualists consideration notify more annexations of consanguinity. Thus, the family bond, the sense of duties and obligations toward each other continues even for generations together.
As such, an Indian family, more particularly a Hindu family becomes large, extended and of the type described as joint. Thus, now it is very much clear that a joint family is a large group of the members of two or more generations having a common ancestry, common – property, common culture, and common household, playing, different roles of father, mother, son, daughter, brother and sister and contributing towards the betterment of family as a whole.
Characteristics of a joint family:
The members of two or more generations constitute a joint family. As Jolly puts it, not only do parents and children brothers and step-brothers live on the common property but it may sometimes, include ascendants, descendants and collaterally up to many generations. Hence, it is quite natural that the size of a joint family becomes large in comparison to a nuclear family in which a man lives his immediate family consisting of only his wife and children.
Another feature of a joint family is that all the members hold the property in common. Everyone works according to his capacity and brings the earnings to home. Mostly the economy of a family is based on agriculture. The adult members cultivate their inherited property. Whatever property is bought or sold, is added or subtracted from the common property of the family. The head of the family, generally known as ‘Karta’ manages the entire socio-economic affairs like a trustee.
Common Residence and Joint Kitchen:
All the members of a joint family generally live under one roof. The entire house is divided into many small rooms for the use of different brothers. Sometimes separate rooms are also constructed for grown-up children depending on the resources and condition of the family. All these members take their food cooked in one kitchen. Mostly there is a common arrangement for joint living and common dining.
Common rituals and ceremonies:
Every joint family has its own rites and rituals in accordance with caste norms and religious obligations. All the members participate in such common rites and rituals. Each family has its own ‘kula devata’ (family deity) which is worshipped by all the members.
Functionally, the joint family is a sort of cooperative enterprise based on secularistic norms. Everyone works for the benefit of the family as a whole. The rights and privileges are distributed equally among all the members. Each member contributes according to his capacity and gets according to his necessity. The responsibility of children old am unable members are shared by all.
In a joint family all the members, due to their common ancestry feel mutually obliged to each other. No one works against the interest of the other. Everyone is interested in the welfare of all the members of his family. A mutual understanding, co-operative spirit, and give-and-take informal relationship bind all the members together.
The ‘Karta’ as the authority:
The Karta or the head of the family acts as the formal authority in all the affairs of the family. Generally, the ‘Karta’ is the eldest male member. All the earning members keep their earnings with him and the entire property is kept under his control. All the family celebrations like marriage, birth and death anniversary are held under his direction and guidance. The disputes and dissatisfaction among the members are settled by him. All the members remain obliged to him and his decision stands final in all matters.
Define joint family and discuss its functions.
A joint family is a large social group in which the father, mother, their children, uncle, aunt, grandfather and grandmother live together. According to Dr Iravati Karve, “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 and who participate in common worship and are related to each other as some particular type of kindred.” According to D.G Mandelbaum, ‘Joint family consists of typically’ of a set of men related to each other as father and sons are brothers and live together with their wives and children.
Functions of joint family:
Following are the functions of the joint family
Social control is the function of a joint family. In a joint family, the relations between the members are direct, intimate and personal. The social relationship of a joint family acts as an important means of social control of the parents and other elder members 6f the family. In a joint family the leaders have direct control of the activities of the members.
A joint family plays a very important role in the socialisation process of the child. If fosters good qualities among its members. In a joint family, children learn social adjustment and other social virtues, like obedience, self-discipline, love, cooperation, self-sacrifice, self-confidence and patience. The youngsters always have a sense of respect for the elders in a joint family.
Development of personality:
It is one of the important functions of a joint family which work in close collaboration with each other. All the members sacrifice themselves for the sake of the family. In a joint family, the children can be brought up and regarded properly by the family members. All these lead to the development of the personality of the members.
A joint family also performs some economic functions. It acts as both productions as well as consumption unit. A joint family fulfils all the economic needs on the principle of joint ownership of land. It saves land from being fragmented into small and economic holdings. All earnings in a joint family are pooled into a common fund, and every member gets an almost equal share irrespective of his income. In a joint family cooking and household, purchases are done jointly resulting in considerable savings.
A joint family imparts education to the members. It is from the family that children learn the first letter under the affectionate guidance of either parent and other members. A joint family provides vocational education of its members. All the social virtues of children are developed by members of the family regarded as the first school of children.
Division of labour:
A joint family system creates a division of labour among the members. Every member in a joint family is as signed with work according to his ability and none is overburdened.
Discuss the merits and demerits of a joint family.
A joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, eat food cooked at one hearth, hold property in common, participate in common worship and are related as some particular type of kindred.
Merits of joint family:
From an economic point of view, joint family system has many advantages. It creates obstacles for subdivision and fragmentation of landed property. That means it prevents family property from being divided due to indivisibility and non-fragmentation of family property. Economic production increases considerably. In a joint family, all the members work together in the family property.
Division of labour:
The joint family system is based on the principle of division of labour. Every member of the family is provided work in accordance with his ability and capacity. For example, in joint families, women look after domestic affairs and care of children whereas men work in the fields. Similarly, in farming season all the members collectively work according to their abilities.
Protection of members:
Our late Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru had said that the joint family system is insurance for the family members which provides a guarantee of protection to those who are physically and mentally weak. It provides social security to those members who are sick, old, invalid, destitute, infirm and instance.
Cradle of social virtues:
A joint family is a storehouse of social virtues or good qualities like love, cooperation, affection, sympathy, sacrifice, tolerance, honesty, obedience, discipline, a broad spirit of selfless service generality, self-control, and mindlessness, for one among its members. These qualities are very essential for every individual in society. Joint family has checked the undesirable and anti-social tendencies of these youth through the care of elders. Thus, a joint family is a cradle of social virtues.
Means of Recreation:
A joint family is one of the best means of recreation. It creates friendly and stimulating taking of the children, mother’s love, love between brothers and sister and the like for the entertainment of the members. Joint family has formed many recreation and cultural institutions. At the time of the fifth, marriage and death, the joint family arranges many cultural functions. The joint family actually takes over the role of a club by providing recreation to all the members.
Sense of unity :
A joint family creates a sense of oneness and unity among its members. It is a strong ‘we feeling’ or belongingness among the members of a joint family. All the family members face a crisis collectively. It gives them a sense of security which is necessary for the development of personality.
The joint family system is very economic in nature because there is a common residence and a common kitchen. It secures the economy of expenditure. The things consumed in large qualities are purchased at a wholesale rate and are secured as economically secure.
Socialism on wealth:
According to Sir Henry Maine, a joint family is like a cooperating trust where the father acts as its trustee. Every member in a joint family Works according to this necessity. Thus, the joint family achieves the socialistic form according to his needs. The fundamental of a joint family is to provide minimum needs such as food, clothing and shelter to every member.
Demerits of joint family:
In spite of the above merits, the joint family system has certain demerits also. The following are the main demerits of a joint family.
Hindrance to the development of personality:
The main demerit of a joint family is the hindrance to the development of the personality of its members. In the joint family, the head is the absolute ruler.He directly controls the behaviour of all the members. He regards them as children though they have turned adulthood. The head is the sole authority to take any decision in the family affairs. The members are not permitted to express their views independently or against the supreme administration of the head nor they can disobey the rules and regulations of the family when framed by the head.
Miserable conditions of women:
The miserable condition of women is yet another disadvantage of the joint family system. In a joint family, women are generally known as neglected and backward persons because they do not get any opportunity to develop their personalities. They are confirmed within the four walls of the house and deserve the entire family like slaves.
The women can neither talk nor express their views independently particularly. In a joint family, the condition of the daughter-in-law is very miserable. They are often ill-treated by their mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Some of them even commit suicide due to intolerable and unendurable oppression and suffering hence the condition of women is very pitiable in the joint family.
Increase of Idleness:
The point family system encourages idleness. All the members of a joint family are sure of economic security. lt is because whether a member works or not, a joint family provides minimum economic needs such as food, clothing and shelter to all members. Therefore, some members do not work for the progress of the family due to this facility. As a result of this laziness of the member’s increases. It hinders the economic prosperity of the family. Thus, a joint family acts as a centre of idleness.
Centre of quarrels:
A joint family is generally known as a centre of the conflict. It is a hotbed of quarrels and bickering, especially among female members. Due to their selfishness and jealous nature the mother-in-law, the sister-in-law and the daughter-in-law create conflict with each other frequently. The activities of children create tension in the family daily disputes and conflict make the family a bed for its members.
Lack of privacy:
In a joint family, there is a lack of sufficient accommodation for its members Newly married couples face great difficulty in a joint family. They do not discuss the- problems in the presence of their elders. The wife cannot meet her husband in a daytime. It imposes certain restrictions upon husband and wife by which they cannot enjoy their marital life fully. Due to these restrictions, they do not have the opportunity to develop their personality.
A joint family is the centre of uncontrolled reproduction. The responsibility to bring up children and educate them is shared in a joint family. Therefore, no members brothers about the number of children he should produce. In a joint family, the individual does not feel the responsibility of individual members. Thus, uncontrolled reproduction is a serious demerit of disadvantaged or a joint families and it leads to poverty.
Hindrance to social change :
Joint family acts as a great obstacle to social change. The members are more conservative and they do not accept any change of society easily. They strictly follow the old traditional custom, folkways and modes in that way it hinders social change. The members of the joint family do not avoid old culture and values as a result of which new scientific inventions and discoveries are retarded.
Hindrances to economic progress:
A joint family hinders the economic progress of society because those who work hard are not properly rewarded. There is always satisfaction among the earning members. The wives of the earning members instigate their husbands not to manage the family and work in proportion to what they get from the family. It checks and hinders the economic progress of the family.
Lastly, a joint family disorganises society by creating social problems. Actually, the joint family is a solid place for social problems. Firstly, uncontrolled reproduction it increases the population of a country. Secondly, the joint family does not take proper care of the children. As a result of which children become juvenile delinquents in joint families. Thirdly, it increases the unemployment problem due to a lack of education and proper training.
Fourthly, on the basis of the dowry system, it leads to survival and bride-burning among young women. Fifthly, due to family quarrels, joint family increases divorce among the members. Lastly, it does not control its members directly. As a consequence, they indulge in various antisocial works. Owing to these reasons, the joint family system violates the peaceful atmosphere of society.
Describe the recent changes in a joint family.
Changes in social conditions led to changes in social institutions. A joint family which was once upon a time created in response to certain needs of man is now undergoing a large number of changes. These changes in the institution of the joint family were due to the influence of a large number of factors like the influence of western culture, legislation, enlightenment of women, modem education, economic freedom, industrialisation, overpopulation etc.
Thus, as a result of the impact of the above-mentioned some changes in the joint family structure; features and have become inevitable. These changes are as follows. The first change in the institution related to the common residence. Nowadays members of a joint family are no more living in a common residence but still, but live in a joint family.
In spite of living under one roof, they also remain as a member of a joint family. The second kind of change is related to a common kitchen. Because of industrialisation and urbanisation members of joint families are living in far-off places as they are working in different places. Hence, in spite of their separate kitchens they still also remain in a joint family.
Thirdly, there is also a change in the concept of common worship. Members of joint family are no more gathering in everyday morning and evening, for worship. They are only coming together at the time of common festivals. Fourthly, change is also occurring in the large size of joint families. Joint family has ceased to be very large in size. It does not have more generation depth, than before.
Fifthly, a great deal of change is also being noted in the authority of the head or in the rule of the Karta. The eldest male member of the joint family is no more enjoying his previous power. He is no more exercising such absolute power over the members of the joint family. Sixthly, there is a change in the functions of the joint family. The joint family instead of developing good.
Questionuestionuestionuestionualities among its members create jealousy, self- centredness etc. Now- a – days joint family ceases its role of providing healthy recreation in its members. Even in many places, joint families failed to provide all sorts of social security to their members. Thus, these are the changes found in the institution of a joint family.