The joint family system was best suited to an agrarian society characterized by limited mobility, simple division of labour and the prevalence of customs and traditionsBut consequent upon the forces of industrialization, urbanization and modernization, the Indian joint family too has undergone profound changes in recent times. The changes are structural, functional and interactional in nature.
Structural Changes in the Hindu Joint Family:1. The trend of family form:The trend of family form is towards a breakaway from the traditional joint family form into nuclear family units.2. Small family size:The size of the joint family has become small. The reason of the small size of the joint family is attributed to the prolific use of contraceptives and the tendency to regard children as an obstacle to the progress and enjoyment of family life.3. Functional jointness:The number of fissioned families is gradually increasing. Even then they are keen in fulfilling their traditional obligations towards their parental families.4. Equal status for women:In the past, the position of women in the joint family set-up was miserable. Several factors such as spread of female education on a war-footing, growing economic and employment opportunities for them, abolition of child marriage, introduction of widow remarriage, increased political consciousness on the part of females etc have gone a long way in according equal status for women. Further, today women share the responsibility with their husbands while arriving at major family decisions. All these have affected the stability of the joint family system.
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The joint family system is the traditional family system of India. This family system is prevalent in India since the ancient times. This family system is one of the major features of the Hindu society. Under this family system the entire family consisting of two or three generations living under a single roof.            In other words a joint family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, who eat food cooked on one hearth, who hold property in common worship and are related to each other as some particular type of kindred.            The joint family system has merits but also demerits. In this system as all the members live together, thus the work of whole family is divided and the burden of work is reduced. This system not only reduces the burden of work but it also safeguards the family when financial or economic difficulties, accidents, deaths or calamities arise.            Although the joint family system has many merits the modern people do not prefer to live in a joint family. Small families provide the freedom and privacy to all the members which are not easy in the joint family system. Also in a joint family, usually the old people are the head of the family. As old people are the head modern thoughts do not emerge in the family.            The true joint family system without any demerits is one of the most valuable institutions for making a country strong and progressive. If the demerits of the joint family system are removed, it can prove itself as the best family system. Thus we should preserve this family system and not let it vanish totally from our country
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