tirsdag 15. september 2020

Why Indians continue to live in joint families

The Indian family, wrote novelist VS Naipaul, was a clan that gave protection and identity and "saved people from the void". Not much has changed, as recent research shows. Many scholars, for example, have believed that with economic growth, urbanisation, education and cultural changes, India's fabled joint family system would slowly disintegrate. Far from it, suggests research by Etienne Breton, a demographer and a visiting fellow at Cornell University, who has studied the relationship between modernisation and household changes in India.

He says that contrary to predictions, India's nuclear households have increased only modestly.
There's also no evidence of a significant decline in the average household size in India since the beginning of the 20th Century. Marriage is universal, the divorce rate is low, and there are few single-person households because of adults remaining single and childless. Demographic conditions for joint family households remain strong. "India drastically challenges the understanding of family change," Dr Breton told me.