PREMIILLA D'CRUZ [**]
SHALINI BHARAT [**]
The systematic study of the family in India dates back to the 1940s. The works of M.N. Srinivas (1942) and M.N. Banerjee (1944-45) appear to be the earliest published materials (See Bharat & Desai, 1995 for a comprehensive bibliography). Family research in India has, by and large, been a study of family patterns (Bharat, 1994), rather than of family dynamics (Uberoi, 1998), and its course can be chartered through a number of distinct phases, each phase being dominated by specific themes and questions (Oommen, 1991). It is this evolution of family research in India that is responsible for the genesis and perpetuation of the belief that the Indian family was essentially joint, and that following industrialisation and urbanisation, it has been replaced by the nuclear family. Thus, though family plurality has been an essential feature of Indian society, biases in research impeded the early recognition of this truth, making it appear to be a recent phenomenon. The present paper dispels myths and misconceptions re garding the family in India. Its description of the multiplicity of family forms simultaneously present in the country is enriched by the incorporation of available research on family dynamics and processes. It is important to note at the outset that the review of research presented herein is organised in terms of chronological phases. Though initially this may appear to underplay or even deny the plurality of family forms in India, the approach is adopted to facilitate an appreciation of how family research in India has evolved.
FAMILY RESEARCH IN THE INDOLOGICAL PHASE
Though the family in India is one of the three most important social institutions for understanding Indian society (Karve, 1953), research on the family in India began sometime in the 1940s with the indological studies of ancient Hindu texts. These provided a normative view of the Indian family (Oommen, 1991). The works of Kapadia (1966), Karve (1953) and Prabhu (1958) illustrate the indological approach, followed by a similar description of the Indian family in the subsequent works of Gore (1965, 1968), Gupta (1978) and Ross (1961) among others.
In the works of the indologists, the joint family is portrayed as the characteristic feature of Indian society (Gore, 1968; Mandelbaum, 1959). Karve (1953:10) defines the joint family as "a group of people who generally live under one roof, who eat food cooked at one hearth, who hold property in common, who participate in common family worship, and who are related to each other as some particular type of kindred".
The essence of the joint family, as brought out in the works of Gore (1965, 1968) and Ross (1961), is described in the following section. The internal Organisation of the joint family, in terms of its structure, comprises a couple, their unmarried children as well as their married sons and their families. Variations along fraternal and familial lines do exist for a variety of reasons including developmental factors in the family life cycle. It is possible to look at the joint family as a multiplicity of genealogically related nuclear families living under one roof and sharing in worship, food and property. However, such a conceptualisation, besides failing to capture the essence of the joint family, living under the control of one patriarch, lays undue and unwarranted emphasis on the conjugal relationship. Looking at the joint family as a group of adult male coparceners and their dependents is more fruitful and realistic, in that it allows for an accurate comprehension of the importance of patrilineality and of familial and fraternal relationships. Additionally, it minimises the spousal and parent-child relationships, which, it is argued, facilitate the stability of the joint family.
As far as the relations in the joint family are concerned, system maintenance being of prime importance, familial and fraternal bonds are encouraged. Problems in the fraternal relationship could arise because age differences give rise to status differences which, in turn, could precipitate rivalry and conflict. These are thwarted by the prinicple of deference to age. Another potential source of conflict is the mother's favour for a particular child.
In the brother-sister relationship, the brother is the protector and the sister, a source of affection and emotional support. The strength of the relationship is aided by the absence of rivalry and by the brother's potential to be a strong support in times of adversity during the sister's adult married or unmarried life. The brother also plays an important role for the sister's children as a source of affection, economic support, shelter and ritual significance.
Minimising the conjugal and parent-child relationships are important for system maintenance. This is so, because if they were allowed to develop, they could set the atmosphere for the creation of a nuclear family. Institutionalised mechanisms created to control this include: (a) the segregation of the sexes, which is manifested in a sexual division of roles as well as in a separate social life for both men and women, the rules of which are internalised through gender role socialisation; (b) the disapproval of the romantic complex prior to marriage through arranged alliances in which the family plays a pivotal role, the absence of courtship and the discouragement of overt manifestations of emotional behaviour between the couple. Deviations from these are highly condemned, with the spousal relation being one of respect from the wife's side and indifference/kindliness from the husband's; and (c) the ability of all the adults in the house, especially the males, to regard all the children as their own and not favo ur any one child/any one group of children. Despite these mechanisms, physical and emotional intimacy between the spouses and a strong mother-child bond do develop and coexist with joint family sentiments. At times, when they conflict, they could lead to a division of the joint family.
Authority and leadership patterns are decided on gender and age lines. Genderwise, in a patriarchal society, men being the bread winners and the inheritors, assume greater power than women and this persists even where wives are earners (See subsection on dual earner families). While women are subordinate to men, their status in the family is also influenced by the fact that they are unrelated strangers, entering the family as individuals who must fit in with the family where the men are related, live in the same house and already belong to it. Each woman entering the home is socialised by the women already in the home. Interaction with the men, including the husband, is minimal due to segregation and male superiority. Consequently, companionship and equality in the spousal relationships are not possible while simultaneously, authority patterns are developed with the aim of providing stability to the family.
Seniority also plays a pertinent part in determining the authority among the adult males, with the oldest male being the most powerful. He may share some authority with the oldest female in order that the household may be effectively managed by her. Only if the eldest male is disabled is his authority flouted and vested in a younger member. Undoubtedly, as the eldest son matures, the head of the family may delegate some authority to him which helps him prepare for his future role as head. It is not uncommon to find women exerting authority covertly through their husbands.
Task and role distribution follow a well-defined sexual division, with the men being the bread winners and earners. In the joint family, male members do not earn for their individual conjugal families nor are they individually responsible for earning. With a family-based occupation and family-owned means of production, joint responsibility for earning for the entire family is the norm and reduces strain on individual members. Besides providing a sense of security, this system encourages a lack of adventure. Resources are allocated according to needs and the welfare of the family as a whole is looked after. Men are also responsible for community contacts, especially regarding the marriages of family members for which they have primary decision-making responsibility.
Household tasks and childrearing are the mainstay of women. The former are shared by all the women and supervised and distributed by the eldest female while child care is the responsibility of the individual mother, though all females and grandparents contribute to socialisation. The child is thus accustomed to many caretakers. Usually father-child interaction occurs at night and is restricted, with the paternal role being enacted by the heads.
Women's status and living experiences in a joint family are determined firstly, by their secondary gender status; and secondly, by the fact that they enter the family as strangers, outsiders and individuals who must fit in with an already developed functional and cultural unit. Besides these factors, their diverse backgrounds generate strain for them and between them. But they must conform in order to survive, though they may find this distasteful and stressful. This could work as a strain on the family, threatening its stability if the conjugal bond is strong, thereby demonstrating the relevance of minimising it. Mechanisms to reduce this strain include a further division of work among the women, the system of arranged marriage, the absence of the romantic complex, caste endogamy and early marriage. While caste endogamy facilitates a homogeneous background for the women, early marriage ensures the wife's adaptability. These facilitate the smooth functioning of the family, though women may continue to feel u nhappy.
Gratification for women comes from motherhood, especially from the birth of sons, who ensure them status in the family. Daughters are not valued as much since although they elevate the women's status, they also enhance economic burden as dependents and eventually leave the home.
A focus on the relationship between the family and the larger social system indicates that the agrarian economy promotes this type of family. Occupations being inherited, economic exchanges occurring between families and not individuals, and the economy being non-monetised, the joint family is the most practical and beneficial since all family members practise the same occupations, use common factors of production and earn a common income. It is in their interests to maintain jointness. In supplying labour, the joint family reciprocates support to the economy. Further, the joint family serves as a social security mechanism especially for its ill, aged, widowed, orphaned and unemployed members.
Critique of the indological phase
Empirical works of the indological phase seemed to establish the belief that the joint family was the norm in India. However, later empirical works of the preindustrial, urbanisation period as well as further review of Hindu literature questioned this notion. Goode (1963) quotes early census data to indicate the higher incidence of the nuclear family, while Shah (1968, 1996) demonstrates that besides the ideal joint family never existing as the dominant form, such forms of the family were more prevalent in towns where the upper castes resided. Kapadia (1956) corroborates this view, stating that in the traditional economy, the wealthier people lived in large families while the poor opted for nuclear ones. Cohn (1961), Gough (1956), Kapadia (1956), Kolenda (1968, 1987) and Madan (1965) among others maintain that the higher castes tended to form joint families while the lower castes gravitated towards nuclear families. According to Beteille (1964), both the joint and nuclear families are mentioned in Hindu liter ature. Assessing which one was more prevalent was difficult due to the developmental cycle of the family.
Besides empirical works quoted above dispelling the notion of the joint family as the norm in India, later researchers have highlighted biases in the indological approach to research, which may account for the creation and perpetuation of myths. For instance, Oommen (1991) points out that indological studies were conducted by upper caste, urban, middle class men whose value orientation may have resulted in researches focussing essentially on the stable patriarchal joint family system. He goes on to state, "...It has been unambiguously demonstrated by later researchers that the classical Sanskrit literature on family is concerned with the property holding and ritual performing group and not with the common man's household. At any rate, the indological studies ignored the texts in other classical languages such as Pali and Persian, which are relevant for the Indian situation... With the advent of positivism, the advocacy of field work and empirical data came into vogue. Understandably, the indological view was dismissed as partisan, a view from above, and at any rate, a mere book-view..." (Oommen, 1991:21-22).
THE INDIAN FAMILY AND SOCIAL CHANGE
The second phase of research on the family in India was sparked off by Goode's hypothesis. Based on his observations of families in different parts of the world, Goode (1963) propounded his hypothesis that: industrialisation and urbanisation will lead to the development of a nuclear or a conjugal family system. Goode, however, acknowledged that since this description represents an ideal type, all its characteristics may never be realised. This is because family systems world-wide differ, beginning at different points, moving in different directions and changing at different paces. There will thus be no simple transformation of all families from primitive to modem, opposite in all ways (Goode, 1963; Roy, 1974; Singer, 1968). As an ideal type, the conjugal system emphasises the conjugal relationship, freedom in the choice of mate, higher age of marriage, egalitarian spousal relations, neolocal residence, relative exclusion of affinal relations from daily affairs, few rights and obligations between the couple a nd kin, a multilineal system, a high degree of emotionality in the conjugal relationship and a tendency to divorce and to remarry (Goode, 1963). This phase of research sought to verify Goode's hypothesis in the Indian context. In doing so, studies focussed almost exclusively on the structure of the family while family processes and dynamics were sidelined. In this section, the first subsection reviews the first set of inquiries, with those on family processes and dynamics being covered in the second subsection.
Changes in family structure
With the changes in the Indian polity, economy, society, education system, value system and legal system following the end of British rule (Kapadia, 1966), and with the joint family being considered the norm prior to these changes, alterations in the family structure, in keeping with Goode's hypothesis, were expected. Several empirical studies were therefore undertaken. In addition to earlier data suggesting that both joint and nuclear families coexisted during the indological phase, research in this phase has thrown up three sets of data.
One set of data supports Goode's hypothesis (Conklin, 1976a & b; Driver, 1962; Kapadia, 1959; Lal, 1990; Morrison, 1959; Ramu, 1988a; Roy, 1974; Shah, 1968, 1996; Vatuk, 1982). This finding is more representative for the young, urban, educated, upper and lower castes. In fact, both Conklin (1976a & b) and Shah (1968, 1996) maintain that Goode's hypothesis has been realised in only a miniscule proportion of the population which hails from urban metropolises and comprises the upper castes and professional classes. Notwithstanding Conklin's and Shah's observation, Ross (1955, 1961) believes that industrialisation and urbanisation lead to geographical, social and ideational mobility, all of which break down the joint family and Kaldate (1961) holds that the nuclear family is inevitable, with the present transitional form being merely a cultural lag.
The way the family is conceptualised in these studies is questionable since the focus is on structure and not function. Naik (1981) innovatively hypothesises that change first occurs within the family (latent, emotional ties) and then of the family (manifest, structural ties) and that research should focus on the former. In his study on family economy, a latent aspect, he found a break from the traditional form and concluded that functional change was occurring, though structure was intact.
The alternate point of view on family change is also upheld. Several researchers (Agarwala, 1955; Aiyappan, 1955; Ames, 1969; Beteille, 1964; Desai, 1955, 1964; Gore, 1965; Ishwaran, 1982; Kapadia, 1956; Khatri, 1975; Kurian, 1976; Lakshminarayana, 1982; Ramu, 1972; Singer 1968 and Singh, 1988) illustrate that in the face of industrialisation, urbanisation, land division, migration, education, mobility, education and employment of women, structural change has occurred but functional jointness continues. This is shown to be true of urban and rural areas and of various caste, income, occupation and religious groups in different parts of the country.
Empirical evidence demonstrates that change does not imply a total breakdown of the joint family system. Change and continuity are not mutually exclusive, but simultaneous -- a contradiction made possible by functional adaptation processes which maintain and modify the joint family in the industrial urban setting (Singer, 1968). Change is thus limited (Gore, 1968), with functional jointness being a necessity for survival in the absence of social security (Ishwaran, 1982; Oommen, 1982).
These findings lead one to conclude that while the joint family is changing, it is not moving to a conjugal nuclear system, but towards a development that Khatri (1975) terms as the adaptive extended family.
A third set of data indicate the persistence of the joint family, despite industrialisation and urbanisation. Household size is found to be relatively uniform across the country, with the average size increasing for both urban and rural areas and most couples following joint family norms as best as possible (Conklin, 1976a & b; Gulati, 1995; Ishwaran, 1982; Shah, 1968, 1996). Kapadia (1956) found the incidence of joint households to be as high as nuclear ones in urban and rural areas with urban HHs having a bigger size than the rural ones. Gulati (1995) and Shah (1968, 1996), on the other hand, found rural HH size to be larger than the urban.
A number of factors account for these findings. Sanskritisation of the middle and lower castes is said to play an important role in this process, in both urban and rural areas (Conklin, 1976a & b; Shah, 1968), while in recent years the relevance of increased life expectancy in explaining this phenomenon cannot be overlooked (Shah, 1996). Moreover, economic development leads to financial and income changes that make joint households more economical (Ames, 1969; Conklin, 1988; Shah, 1996).
A preference for the joint family is demonstrated in a variety of studies by urban and rural people, across caste and class (Ames, 1969; Conklin, 1976a & b, 1988; Desai, 1964; Ishwaran, 1982; Khatri, 1975; Shah, 1960). In Shah's (1960) study, while respondents asked for modifications in freedom, authority and individuality to make the joint family more acceptable, they preferred it for its security, protection, support and reduced expenses, opting for it even if they could afford nuclear families.
With the findings of the second phase of family research in India being contradictory, researchers attempted to explain the inconsistencies. The confusion over and the interchangeable use of the concepts of household and family was considered to be partly responsible. Given the distinction between the two, a joint family can continue though its household may be nuclear, while the existence of a nuclear household is not an indicator that the family has become nuclear (Gore, 1965, 1968). The ancient Mitakshara law also distinguishes between a household and a family. It defines a coparcenary as those males who by birth are entitled to the coparcenary property. The legal definition of the joint family is based on that of the coparcenary but it is important to distinguish between the two. While males are the coparcenary, their dependents are not coparceners but are entitled to maintenance. Yet, both together constitute the joint family. Thus, the legal definition of the joint family is highly specialised and divor ced from sociological definitions of nuclear and extended families, implying that legal joint families can exist within sociological nuclear families. It is here that the distinction between household and the family arises, for a joint family based on property need not be a joint household based on membership constitution. Confusion over the interpretation of the law leads to a clouding of the difference between the household and the family (Shah, 1968, Uberoi, 1998). Studies which fail to take this difference into account may produce confounding results.
A second factor put forward is that the dichotomy between conjugal and joint families assumes a different meaning if we consider families in terms of their developmental cycles (Beteille, 1964; Uberoi, 1998). Within the developmental process, growth and dispersal are important phases (Shah, 1988). Separation of the household and even of the family through the partitioning of property after and during the lifetime of the head are sanctioned by the Mitakshara law (Desai, 1955; Shah, 1968, 1988). It is important to realise that separation could be of the family or of the household where property is, or is not, divided respectively, during the life time of the father or after, and for a variety of reasons (Bailey, 1960; Beteille, 1964; Caldwell, Reddy & Caldwell, 1984; Desai, 1955; Gore, 1965, 1968; Ross, 1961; Shah, 1988) making it either bitter or amicable. It could involve setting up of a separate unit in the same household/compound as in the case of separation of the household or a separate unit in a differen t location as in the case of separation of household/family. This nuclear household which is either a nuclear/joint family may later form into a joint household and/or joint family with the marriage of its sons -- a phase of dispersal (Lakshminarayana, 1982; Singer, 1968).
Uberoi (1998) postulates that since the institution of the joint family has been a civilisational ideal in South Asia, and professional and popular opinion has often assumed it to have been the social reality of traditional Indian society as well, this could be the reason why empirical evidence (which became available from the time of the first British censuses), indicating that nuclear rather than joint families predominate, was construed to mean that the joint family had started giving way to a nuclear family form, in line with supposed worldwide trends in development. But according to her, the issue is essentially clouded by definitional problems of what the joint family really is, and the data is equivocal.
Notwithstanding these explanations, it is apparent that the data generated through research endeavours during the second phase of family research failed to establish the prevalence of one family pattern or the other in India, as also the breakdown of the joint family into nuclear families.
Changes in family processes and dynamics
Studies undertaken in the second phase of family research have, by and large, looked at change in family structure. Very few studies have documented changes in family dynamics and processes, and those that have done so, have a narrow focus and may be placed in two groups -- those researching family processes following industrialisation and urbanisation; and those comparing joint versus nuclear family dynamics. This sub-section presents the findings of these studies.
Among the researches inquiring into the modifications in family dynamics and processes due to industrialisation and urbanisation, Ross (1961) demonstrated a change in roles and relationships with nuclearisation. Fathers were expected to be moderately prepared for the role of head of the family while mothers were expected to be employed. Besides a strong, egalitarian conjugal bond, a closer bonding in the family was predicted with less authority and more freedom for children. There was also a reliance on outside agencies.
Ramu (1988a) maintains that, though the conjugal family pattern is becoming dominant in both urban and rural areas and is preferred, traditional values and norms also operate. In terms of roles, husbands continue to be seen as providers and wives as homemakers, even if they are employed. As regards marital power, while both spouses report that the man has greater power in decision making, a closer examination of the process indicates consultation and bargaining between the spouses, leading to conjugal solidarity and equality.
Authority patterns were considered to be changing, from previously being determined by age and sex to contemporaneously being decided by education and income (Gore, 1965).
With the coexistence of traditional and modem values during the period of transition, inconsistency in parental handling leading to behavioural problems in the child were observed. Mothers, who in the past were instruments of affection, now play the dual role of providing both love and authority, a contradiction which induces anxiety in the child. The limited role models available in the nuclear family not only reduce diffused identification but also make the search for stable and suitable role models difficult. Socialisation, which is more conscious than before is also increasingly performed by institutions (Sinha, 1984, 1988). Gore (1978) found greater concern in urban parents about the child's future and about socialisation practices. There is also a greater experience of adolescence.
Other changes include a higher age of marriage for both men and women, a lower rate of both arranged marriages and caste and religious endogamy, abolition of polygamy and an improvement in the status of women legally and socially, at least in the urban middle class family (Gore, 1965).
Empirical work done to comparejoint family versus nuclear family dynamics demonstrates that husbands from joint families have greater power than those from nuclear families, while husbands from the middle class have more power than working class husbands. Middle class, joint family husbands have maximal power. Looking at the conjugal bond, couples from nuclear families and those from the middle class have higher bonds than joint family and working class couples respectively, with those from middle class, nuclear families having the closest bonds (Straus, 1975).
Where family power is concerned, Lal (1976) points out that the eldest male in the nuclear family wields much more power than the eldest male in the joint family, though in both types of families it is eldest male who has more power than any other family member. By and large, in both joint and nuclear families, the power structure is centralised with an authoritarian decision making pattern that is typically male-dominated.
Kamal and Jain (1988) and Bharat (1991a) believe that the experience of greater support within the joint -family as compared to the nuclear family, reduces stress and mental health problems. However, as preceding paragraphs have pointed out, dynamics in the joint family do precipitate mental strain.
Regarding socialisation, in the joint family, this process is influenced by the joint family hierarchy which dominates interaction. While the child is exposed to multiple adult models with greater infant indulgence, the authoritarian structure warrants the use of severe child training methods, with the family stressing conformity and deemphasising autonomy and separation. The father's role in childrearing is limited, while the mother has a dominating role. Such factors are associated with greater field dependence and less psychological differentiation in the child. The nuclear family is less structured and the child is exposed to fewer adult models. There is lesser infant indulgence, though socialisation practices are more permissive, and less harsh. Greater freedom and stress on autonomy and separation prevail, with both parents sharing power and status. Such factors being associated with field independence and psychological differentiation, children in nuclear families experience these processes (Bisht & Si nha, 1981). Ojha and Sinha (1982) opine that joint and nuclear families give rise to distinct parental styles. That is, joint family's emphasis on co-operation for its survival leads to more authoritarian parental styles, whereas the individualism of the nuclear family is associated with democratic parenting practices.
ALTERNATIVE FAMILY FORMS IN INDIA
Research on alternate family patterns forms the-third phase of research on the family in India. It was not until the mid-80s that the focus of family research began to shift away from the joint-nuclear debate towards other forms of family living. These include single parent families, dual earner families and adoptive families. The lable 'alternate family' is used to indicate their formation because they result from personal/socioeconomic circumstances beyond one's control (Bharat, 1994). Though they have always been present in India, these were largely ignored in researches conducted upto the mid-1970s, probably because of their relatively small number and consequently relative invisibility. Additionally, it could be because of biases towards them which arose from the weak position of women in society and the high value attached to wholeness and stability in marriage and the family (Bharat, 1994). Today, socioeconomic changes, increasing migration patterns and the women's movement in India have created condit ions to make these alternate forms more visible, inviting the attention of family researchers (Bharat, 1994). This turn of events has proved to be beneficial to family studies in India in that it has paved the way for the acceptance of family plurality among family researchers and provided impetus to applied family research (Bharat, 1991 b).
Single Parent families
Single parent families (SPFS) are the most commonly found alternate family form in the world (Bharat, 1994). They are not new phenomena but are currently receiving increased attention (Bharat, 1986, 1994). They are defined as those families in which the children, usually dependents, reside with one parent who shoulders the major responsibility for their upbringing. In such families, either parent is absent due to death, divorce/separation, migration for employment, prolonged hospitalisation, imprisonment, desertion/abandomnent or unwed motherhood. SPFs are either single father or single mother families, permanent or temporary, involving the physical or psychological absence of the other parent (Bharat, 1986, 1994). In India, the percentage of SPFs where absence of a parent is due to divorce/death/separation is estimated at 7.59% as per the 1981 census (Bharat, 1986). This estimate is based on the section of the population most likely to have dependent children, i.e, the parental age group of 15-49 years, and on the number of families likely to be supporting dependent children, since these are the basic units in which children are reared (Bharat, 1986).
Nearly two-thirds of SPFs in India are female-headed households (FHHS) (Bharat, 1986, 1994), that is, HHs in which the female is the major provider and/or protector, carrier and bearer and decision maker in the household (Kumari, 1989).
SPFs created due to death, desertion and imprisonment display a variety of living arrangements, with families living either independently, with married children, with in-laws, with parents or with siblings. The decision depends on the age of the wife, the number of and ages of the children and the relationship with the family (Bose & Sen, 1966; Chakrabarti, 1987; Chen & Dreze, 1992; Nagesh & Katti, 1988; Satyaleela, 1991; Srinivasan, 1987).
While Jetley (1987) found the same to be true for families of internal migrants' families, with regard to international migrants, Gulati (1983, 1987, 1993) and Parasuraman (1986) speak of a move towards joint family living arrangements, either with the parents or the in-laws, though this is usually for a short time, after which the woman sets up an independent unit. They also indicate a tendency towards femaleheadedness in areas where the incidence of migration is high.
Regarding family relations and support, SPFs of widows, deserted women and wives of prisoners experience diverse reactions from their families of origin, of procreation and their in-laws which influence interpersonal relations and support. Positive as well as negative reactions are reported while support could be permanent, occasional, financial, material, emotional or physical and could be determined by the returns and bargaining power the recipient possesses (Chakrabarti, 1987; Chen & Dreze, 1992; Kitchlu, 1993; Nagesh & Katti, 1988; SatyaLeela, 1991; Srinivasan, 1987).
Families of international migrants experience tremendous family support at various stages in the migration process in terms of obtaining no objection certificates, paying agents, getting information about jobs and in the post migration phase, for living arrangements and advice about remittance (Gulati, 1983, 1987, 1993; Mathew & Nair, 1978).
Wives of prisoners sometimes maintain the conjugal bond through contact with their spouse which they may find fulfilling (Chakrabarti, 1987), though deserted wives are usually divided in their attitude to their spouses. While some wish their husbands back for protection, the others do not, as this means a recurrence of old problems (Datar & Upendra, 1993; Srinivasan, 1987).
Pothen (1986, 1989) reports that though few divorced couples maintain contacts, some report tender or cordial feelings. Choudhary (1988) observed that 30 percent of the couples met each other after divorcing.
Conjugal separation which is common among migrants constitutes its most important psychic cost. Its incidence is determined jointly by sociocultural factors, cost of migration, length of migration, education, occupation and caste and in the case of international migration, by various rules (Banerjee, 1984; Parasuraman, 1986). Migration also affects fertility through its effects on the physical proximity of the spouses (Gulati, 1983, 1993; Parasuraman, 1986).
The distribution of marital power among spouses separated due to internal migration is on traditional lines, especially in the area of finance, despite the fact that wives manage daily budgeting (Jetley, 1987). However, in the spousal relationship in families of international migrants, better communication and egalitarianism prevail, since the wife handles most family affairs (Gulati, 1987, 1993). Sekhar's (1996) study on the impact of male migration to the Middle East on female sex roles in rural Kerala reveals that the migration of the husbands exposed traditional village women, used to a patriarchal set-up, to an entirely different situation. They now had to shoulder responsibilities and take decisions, as well as frequently interact with the outside world, which they had rarely done before. The women left behind adjusted very well to the challenges brought on by male migration. In the process, they gained self-confidence, self-esteem and better status within the family. Male migration, therefore, enhance s the personal growth of the wives. But once the husbands return, wives participate in decision making, but leave execution of tasks to their male counterparts. The extent to which male migration can be seen as emancipating for women is therefore questionable.
Widowed, divorced, separated, deserted wives and wives of prisoners face a plethora of problems in fulfilling their familial roles. Financial problems include difficulties in getting employment, handling money and income, acquiring accommodation, purchasing luxury items for the house, providing good clothes and food to the children, providing for children's dowry and marriage, paying back loans taken by the husband, paying school fees, maintaining a decent standard of living and meeting personal expenses. Problems in childrearing arise in terms of providing attention, taking care of needs, disciplining children, making decisions about their education and marriage. In the area of personal and social problems, besides a lower status, women lack companionship and male escorts, find it difficult to make daily purchases, to run the home and to entertain male visitors, face criticism especially from in-laws, fear sexual advances, feel scared at night, feel unwelcome at auspicious functions, feel unfulfilled sexual ly and experience physical and mental health problems. Moreover, widows are expected to dress up soberly (Bharat, 1988a; Chakrabarti, 1987; Chen & Dreze, 1992; Choudhary, 1988; Datar & Upendra, 1993; Gill & Singh, 1986; Kitchlu, 1993; Nagesh & Katti, 1988; Panda, 1997; Parasuraman, 1986; Pothen, 1986, 1989; SatyaLeela, 1991; Srinivasan, 1987; YWCA in Bharat, 1986).
Of the spectrum of problems, economic hardship is the primary one. These families experience financial problems, economic deprivation, a lower standard of living and are usually below the poverty line, with most women forced to seek employment and take on the provider role (Bharat, 1988a; Buvinic, Youssef & Von Elm, 1978; Chakrabarti, 1987; Chen & Dreze, 1992; Datar & Upendra, 1993; Kitchlu, 1993; Krishnaraj & Ranadive, n.d.; Kumari, 1989; Nagesh & Katti, 1988; Panda, 1997; SatyaLeela, 1991; Srinivasan, 1987; Youssef & Hetler, 1982).
With women seeking employment being at a disadvantage due to gender discrimination (Chen & Dreze, 1992; Krishnaraj & Ranadive, n.d.; Kumari, 1989; Youssef & Hetler, 1982), and due to poor education and skills (Chakrabarti, 1987; Kitchlu, 1993; Panda, 1997; SatyaLeela, 1991; YWCA in Bharat, 1986); income levels are very low (Bharat 1988a; Chakrabarti, 1987; Datar & Upendra, 1993; Kitchlu, 1993; SatyaLeela, 1991; Srinivasan, 1987), forcing women to take loans/beg/borrow/get support from relatives (Chakrabarti, 1987; Chen & Dreze, 1992; SatyaLeela, 1991; YWCA in Bharat, 1986). Widows may secure jobs in their husband's firms (Kitchlu, 1993; SatyaLeela, 1991) or they get their husbands' dues which help them to discharge their duties (Kitchlu, 1993). Some divorced wives received alimony, but besides the amount being minimal, the practice is limited to higher castes and classes and to the educated (Choudhary, 1988; Pothen, 1986, 1989).
Overall, single parent status leads to role overload, socioeconomic problems, limited time, energy and resources, high burden of responsibility and stress and strain in the face of inadequate skills and poor coping as well as limited opportunity to develop these since time is insufficient to include these numerous activities.
In internal migrant families, economic hardship and financial problems persist, since the migrant is usually unskilled and earns very little. The wife in the village, thus has to assume family, domestic and earner roles. The family's position is not very different to the single parent families described above. In addition, wives suffer from mental illness due to single parent status, role overload and socioeconomic problems. A marginal improvement does occur in the standard of living of these families, especially if the migrants earn higher salaries (Jetley, 1987).
Families of international migrants report great improvement in their standard of living in terms of consumption, assets and investments (Gulati, 1983, 1993; Mathew & Nair, 1978). Problems are minimal due to the resources the family gains. Wives, in addition to their traditional roles, have to handle finances and correspondence. Given the resources at their disposal, they have fewer problems in acquiring the skills to manage both and are able to write to their husbands, operate bank accounts, repay loans, deal with land transactions and house construction, sell off items the husband buys, handle daily expenses and economise. Mental illness and psychiatric disturbances, though, are also common. New brides, having just entered their in-laws' houses, experience loneliness, hostility and pressure, accentuated by the husbands' absence and conflict over remittances. Wives with children are generally better adjusted with their in-laws and have a better status because of their children. Nonetheless, where the husbands ' work involves the performance of dangerous tasks and possible death, all the women experience tension (Gulati, 1983, 1987, 1993; Parasuraman, 1986). Wives' pain of separation is manifested in terms of psychosomatic health problems, despite availability of social support. Personal and family factors such as the number of children, duration of absence of husband, stay with in-laws, working status, and educational level influence the perception of psychosomatic health problems and social support (Kaila, 1996).
SPFs of widowed, divorced, deserted, prisoners and internal migrants face considerable problems in the area of childrearing due to their single parent status, lack of time, energy and resources, preoccupation with survival, socioeconomic factors and role overload. Literature suggests that children usually do not complete their education (either because of disinterest/lack of resources/other responsibilities), require help with it, have no extracurricular pursuits, express confusion about their occupational preference and have many roles and responsibilities (Bharat, 1988b; Chakrabarti, 1987; Desai & Apte, 1987; Jetley, 1987; Kumari, 1989; Panda, 1997; Parasuraman, 1986; Pothen, 1986, 1989). A need for love, anxiety about economic deprivation, insecurity, neglect, missing the absent parent especially at festivals/social gatherings/on seeing intact families, preference for an adult figure, perception of being disadvantaged compared to children from intact families, experience of physical, educational, social an d emotional deprivation, lowered child welfare outcomes, and adverse effects on cognitive and personality development persist. Physical health problems due to physical deprivation are common while interactional and behavioural problems such as fear, loneliness, regression, anger and delinquency are manifested as psychiatric problems later in life (Bharat, 1988b; Chakrabarti, 1987; Chatterjee & Royghatak, 1982; Desai & Apte, 1987; Kodandram, 1986; Kumthekar, 1991; Kuruvilla, 1974; Panda, 1997; SatyaLeela, 1991; Singh & Agrawal, 1986; Wig, Verma & Shah, 1969; YWCA in Bharat, 1986). However, Venkoba Rao (1970) disagrees with the view that psychiatric problems are linked to parental loss. There are other instances of successful, responsible, mature children among the offspring of divorcees (Pothen, 1989).
Children of international migrants are in a different situation. Having more resources, their needs are better provided for, particularly in the area of education, health, recreation and food. While wives are actually involved in child rearing, the migrants themselves express concern over the children in letters and encourage expenditure so that the best may be provided (Gulati, 1983, 1987, 1993). Nonetheless, instances of disciplinary problems due to single parenting and of indulgence, spending and carelessness are present (Parasuraman, 1986).
Besides the experiences of the families of migrants, migrants themselves deserve attention. While they migrate with heavy family responsibilities, they also experience the effects of separation, which may result in irresponsible behaviour and less attachment to the family. Being quasi bachelors, they may get into vices, start second families and remit less money home. Internal migrants, who are generally unskilled and earn very little, may live in deplorable conditions (Gulati, 1983, 1993; Parasuraman, 1986). International migrants who remit money home for daily expenses and debts, retain some, which they use to pay off larger debts and for assets/investments/savings. Despite the large reserves, wives of international migrants still economise (Gulati, 1987, 1993).
Dual earner families
Dual earner families are defined as those in which both husband and wife are simultaneously employed in full-time paid jobs outside the home. The jobs may be professional or nonprofessional and may vary with respect to their social prestige but they are generally undertaken due to mounting economic pressure rather than choice alone (Bharat, 1994). Variations include dual career families where women are in a professional job requiring professional education and high work commitment that is undertaken not merely due to economic necessity but also for personal fulfillment, and hence may not qualify as alternate families, strictly speaking (Bharat, 1994).
Working women in India are not altogether a new phenomenon, for women in rural India have been working in the fields. In urban areas too, women have worked in factories as menial servants and as construction workers. But the approach of Indian society to women's employment has been dualistic and strongly influenced by caste and class factors. Out of home work by women of the lower castes, tribes and economically underprivileged groups was not just socially sanctioned but also expected as a part of women's duty to support their families. Employment of women from the upper castes and middle and upper classes was discouraged, being considered unrespectable for both the women and their families, unless there was dire economic necessity (Ramu, 1989). However, today, various socioeconomic factors such as rapid modernisation, increasing consumerism and rising cost of urban living, the encouragement given to women's education and employment, promotion of women's literacy, the women's movement for equal rights and sta tus as well as women's own need to be independent, have made it possible for women to seek work outside the home (Bharat, 1994; Ramu, 1989; Roopnarine, Talukder, Jain, Joshi & Srivastav, 1992; Singh, 1972). The present discussion focusses on the urban dual earner family while recognising that women in rural areas also form part of the labour force.
According to a majority of studies, most women work for economic reasons (Hate, 1969; Kapur, 1970; Ramachandran, 1970; Ramu, 1989; Ranade, 1970; Sen & Sen, 1985; Singh, 1972; Wadhera, 1976). But studies also report class differences in the interpretation of economic necessity (Ramachandran, 1970; Ranade, 1970; Singh, 1972). Other reasons for employment include desire/need for independence, use of knowledge, desire for status/higher standard of living and quality of life/identity, love of career/profession, habit and ambition (Hemalatha & Suryanarayan, 1983; Kapur, 1970; Ramu, 1989; Singh, 1972).
Studies contrasting working women with non-working women find that the latter do not work mainly because of disapproval of relatives, adequate income, children and HH work (Ranade, 1970). Ramu (1989), in contrasting working and non-working women found four patterns in the wives' decision to work or not to work: (a) the traditional housewife who is committed to the domestic role; (b) the neotraditional woman who combines economic and traditional roles and experiences great physical and psychological stress; (c) the reluctant homemaker who desires to work outside, but whose spouse/circumstances do not allow it; and (d) the reluctant working woman who works against her will because of economic reasons.
Though husbands in dual earner families approve of their wives working and are generally positive about it (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Ramu, 1987; Rani, 1976; Wadhera, 1976), concomitant changes in roles are not always apparent. In a majority of such households, wives are considered to be supplemental earners rather than "providers" in their own right. This is so because of cultural norms as well as because most women do not earn enough to share the co-provider role with their spouses. As a result, most husbands and wives continue to see husbands as providers and women as homemakers and thus, women ask for and receive very little help in their domestic roles despite having taken on the economic role. This leads to stress, strain, overload, conflict, tension and guilt (Bhoite, 1987; Hate, 1969; Kapur, 1970; Mies, 1980; Radhadevi & Ravindran, 1985; Ramu, 1987, 1989; Rani, 1976; Singh, 1972; Srivastava, 1978; Standing, 1985; Wadhera, 1976). Very few women are satisfied with their dual role performance (Kapur, 1970; Mies, 1980; Rani, 1976; Singh, 1972; Wadhera, 1976).
Factors influencing role conflict include family size, number of and ages of children, nature and timings of occupation, independence in deciding whether to work or not, husband's nature, socio-economic status, family type, marital status of the women, caste, class, presence and absence of servants, family reactions to working women and wife's self-perception (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Mies, 1980; Rani, 1976; Singh, 1972; Standing, 1985; Wadhera, 1976). Some working wives are able to handle their role conflict since they employ servants, turn to institutions/ agencies, get help from in-laws/relatives or have access to gadgets (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Mies, 1980; Rani, 1976; Rao & Rao, 1982; Srivastava, 1978; Standing, 1985). Class differences in this regard may be apparent.
Despite the fact that women see their traditional role as important, they would like help from their husbands (Mies, 1980; Rani, 1976; Standing, 1985). Only a few studies however, indicate a breakdown in the traditional role segregation in dual earner families (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Indiradevi, 1987; Rani, 1976; Rao & Rao, 1982; Srivastava, 1978). While cases of husbands' participation in housework indicate that wives are happier (Rao, 1990), research also shows that where men help, it is generally with shopping and child care (Rao, 1990; Standing, 1985). Husband's participation is influenced by the reason for wife's employment, family type, family size, presence of domestic help and degree of conjugal companionship (Rao, 1990).
Coming to spousal power, greater egalitarianism with less husband power and more wife power is apparent. Wife's employment status is thus a relevant factor (Indiradevi, 1987; Ramu, 1987, 1 988b, 1989; Rao & Rao, 1982; Shukla, 1987). In the light of this, it is worth examining the areas in which working wives enjoy power. While Shukla's (1988) study pointed out to economically significant areas such as insurance and investments, Bharat's (1992) research highlighted that the gain in power for women, even if they are in highly placed jobs, is in less crucial areas such as menu making and home decoration rather than finances, which remain the domain of men. Further, Sharma (1980) disagrees with the finding that employed women gain power, indicating that despite women's employed status, they are still subordinate to men, given a patriarchal, patrilineal system which fosters women's dependence and thereby nullifies the gains employment brings.
Research on sex-role perceptions in dual earner HHs has provided some striking insights. Ramu (1989) found employed women to be most conservative in their sex-role perceptions. His results were supported by those of Shukla (1988) and Bharat (1995). Shukla showed that even when dual career couples are more egalitarian in decision making, they derive greater satisfaction and marital happiness from the performance of their traditional sex roles. Bharat's study indicated that both career and non-career women and their husbands harbour conservative perceptions of provider and domestic roles. The women considered their domestic duties more sacred than their provider duties. In spite of the women's significant economic contribution, their provider duties were secondary to their roles as mothers and homemakers. Ramu (1987) explains this interesting situation. According to him, men and women continue to be governed by traditional beliefs and values that "encourage wives to acknowledge and defer to their husbands even though they share the provider role" (p. 913).
Studies show conflicting results about the woman's autonomy over her salary. Standing (19 85) illustrated that while women in poor families keep some of their income, women from higher classes are secondary bread-winners whose income is used to buy luxuries. The concept of priority and necessity are altered in these families (Indiradevi, 1987; Srivastava, 1978). Here the woman's autonomy over her income depends on the financial Organisation of the family which could be either a common fund, joint management or male management -- in the last case, she receives the least autonomy and the lower the autonomy, the greater the dependency. Rani (1976), however, highlights women's freedom in regard to their salaries.
The controversy over women's position could perhaps be settled by drawing from literature on female structured mutedness. Patel's (1999) review of various works highlights that within culturally available sets of symbols, there are innumerable ambiguities and possibilities for relations between men and women. That is, although men are represented as dominant in most societies, women actually possess and wield power in specific domains. Thus complementing male authority is female structured mutedness. Patel's (1999) own empirical work on women's agency and HH progression and fertility in Rajasthan provides evidence to show that women have a great deal more power in the HH than what is conventionally believed, though this operates in subtle ways.
Where children are concerned, employed wives have fewer children than non-working ones (Srivastava, 1978). In the area of child rearing, children are usually cared for by relatives who live with/near the family, by husbands if they are unemployed or work short hours, by elder siblings if the family is too poor, by themselves if the mother is poor and works near enough to visit them periodically and by servants, if the family can afford it (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Roopnarine et al, 1992; Standing, 1985; Wadhera, 1976). Class differences in the arrangements are apparent but most women, since they have no choice, consider it irrelevant to express their feelings about their arrangements (Hemalatha et al, 1983; Standing, 1985). Given the nature of the arrangements, illness/emergencies escalate into crises, with women having to take leave or having to leave the children to fend for themselves (Standing, 1985). Besides, it was found in one study that though single earner and dual earner fathers do not differ in careg iving, single earner mothers play more with their children while dual earners mothers vocalise more with them (Roopnarine et al, 1992). Another study demonstrated that housewives foster dependency, exclude outside influences and suppress sexuality and intrusiveness more than working mothers (Singh & Aurora, 1980). Working mothers perceive their children as being adversely affected by their employment (Ramachandran, 1970), while children too do not really like the mothers to be away (Rani, 1976). The employment status of the mother affects the personality of their children (Seth & Bhatnagar, 1979).
Recent work comparing married employed and non-employed women points out that since family based roles are common for all the women, employed women, having additional roles, experience more hassles than the unemployed group. Though working women display better well-being, unemployed wives receive more social support, essentially because the traditional aspect of women's role is still better accepted in the social network and gets more support. Enhanced well-being of employed wives is a significant finding, given that they experience greater hassles and less support. Resources generated by employment appear adequate not only to cope with stresses emerging from multiple roles, but also to enhance well-being. The control perceived by employed wives in their lives perhaps plays a role in this process, implying that compromises on the emotional front do not matter as employment empowers women to perceive that they have resources to combat stress and cope. Employed women have a surplus in areas of practical signifi cance in the HH such as expectations regarding money, gifts, etc., while unemployed women have surpluses in the emotional domain (Thakar & Misra, 1999).
The family functions of reproduction and procreation comprise the natural process by which the family is created. While such biological families are predominant in society, families may be created by socio-legal processes, too. Adoptive families, which form one such type, are formed by the state of childlessness in couples whose prime motive is to have a child. In contrast to large groups of such traditional adopters are a small group of preferential adopters, who adopt for humanitarian reasons. Adoptive families in India, being largely the result of personal circumstances rather than of ideology, are therefore considered to be alternate family forms (Bharat, 1994).
Saini (1962) defines adoption as a legal and social process by which the child of one set of parents becomes the child of another set of parents. It confers on the child and the adoptive parents substantially the same mutual rights and responsibilities as those which exist in a natural parent-child relationship. Meezan (1983) defines it as a legal process by which a family unit is created by severing ties between a child and his/her biological parents and legally establishing a new parent-child relationship between persons not related by blood. It thus involves the creation of a family by the state rather than through procreation.
India has a long history of adoption, based on ancient Hindu law. Since sons have a special spiritual and secular significance in Hinduism, for repaying the debts to one's ancestors, for conducting the last rites, for continuing the family line and to inherit and manage the family property, adoption of the male child was practised. The child could be given in adoption by his father (and by his mother if the father was dead), and had to be a Hindu, male and of the same caste as the adopting father. However, he could not be an orphan or deaf and dumb. Hindu adoption proceeded through certain ceremonies and was irrevocable. These adoptions were thus not on humanitarian grounds and despite all the legality, the adopted child faced problems regarding the inheritance of property following the death of the father (Ahmad, 1975; Baig & Gopinath, 1976; Bharat, 1993).
In the post Independence period, attempts to systematically legalise adoption have resulted only in Hindus being able to lawfully take a child under adoption. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, which covers Hindus, Buddhists, Jams, Sikhs and those who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews, states that any Hindu, male or female on reaching majority and of sound mind, can adopt a child provided he/she has no natural born/adopted child of the same sex as of the child to be adopted; for a married male, consent of the wife is necessary prior to adoption; a married female can adopt during the life of her husband if he is unsound and incapable of deciding; unmarried/ widowed/divorced Hindu females can adopt; the child to be adopted can be male/female, an orphan but must be a Hindu, unmarried, less than 15 years and not already adopted with the age difference between the adopting parent and the child being at least 21 years (Bharat, 1993; Ursekar, 1976). Despite the progressive nature of the legislat ion, inadequacies exist (Bharat, 1993).
While Muslims, Christians, Jews and Parsis cannot adopt legally due to their personal law, they can take a child as a ward under the Guardianship and Wards Act, 1890, whereby the adopter is only a guardian and the relationship ceases once the child reaches maturity. The child neither receives the full status of a biological child nor is he/she automatically entitled to the family name or property (Bharat, 1993).
In the absence of a legal provision for a section of Indians to adopt a child, a need has been felt to have uniform code for adoption. This common civil law related to adoption is sought to be uniformaly applied to all Indians, irrespective of caste, creed or religion (Baig et al, 1976; Bharat, 1993; Ursekar, 1976). Attempts to this end, began from 1955 and have continued to date, with bills being placed before Parliament intermittently but unsuccessfully, for a variety of reasons including the minority groups considering it a threat to their religious identities (Baig et al, 1976; Bharat, 1993; Ursekar, 1976).
Additionally, an attempt to look at adoptions in India should focus not only on intracountry adoptions but also intercountry adoptions, which are highly prevalent due to the dearth of willing Indian parents for various reasons and due to changing Western attitudes. These, however, are extremely controversial due to malpractices, both during the procedure and after the child is moved abroad. A 1984 Supreme Court judgement seeks to check these activities and to promote intracountry adoptions (Bharat, 1993).
Literature on adoption, by and large, focuses on procedural and legal aspects, while research on family dynamics and processes in adoptive families is limited.
Billimoria (1984) whose study is significant in this regard, reported parental satisfaction in role performance, with only a few parents feeling uncertain. Most parents expect the child to look after them in their old age but few are certain that this will be done. While parents agree that the fact of adoption should be divulged to the child, few actually do so due to insecurity. The development of the child was found to be normal and satisfactory. Additionally, Bharat (1993) reports Indian adoptive parents to be over 40 years, from the lower middle and middle classes, married for over 10 years and choosing to adopt because of childlessness. Adoptive parents seem to prefer young, normal, male children.
A more recent study by Bharat (1997) compared the family experience and the intellectual and psychosocial development of adopted children with children in biological homes. Findings indicate that the adoptee's perception of self-worth is similar or closer to the self-perception of the biological children. Both these groups of children evaluate themselves positively in relation to their scholastic competence, behavioural conduct and global self-worth. With respect to their physical appearance, the adoptees judge themselves less positively, while in intelligence tests also they scored less than the biological children. Moreover, qualitative analyses of the data from parents reveal that, in general, the two sets of parents do not differ substantially with respect to their familistic orientation. However, a careful examination of these data brings out certain differences within the adoptive parents group. In Kirk's (1964) terminology, they can be grouped under two broad categories 'Acknowledgement of difference' (A/D) or 'Rejection of difference' (R/D). About 20 percent of the adoptive parents included in the study may be put in the R/D category. These parents have difficulty in accepting their status as adoptive parents, wish to believe that there are real differences between them and their biological counterparts, do not wish to hear the term adoption spoken in front of them, minimise whatever differences there are, are comparatively more dissatisfied with their children's physical and health condition, are not willing to learn about the child's past history and have neither shared nor wish to share the fact of adoption with their child. In a majority of these cases, children of these parents are below average performers in school, have health related problems and display behavioural problems. By contrast, a majority of the adopted children who are average or above average performers in school and do not display any serious behavioural problems come from adoptive homes where the parents accept adoption as a fact of life (A/D) type, have shared the fact of adoption with their child, acknowledge differences between them and their biological counterparts, are willing to learn about the child's background and are generally satisfied with their child's physical and health condition (Bharat, 1997).
A systematic and comprehensive perusal of family literature in India at once breaks the deep-seated notion that the Indian family was basically joint and that the nuclear family has replaced it, following industrialisation and urbanisation. On the contrary, it has been demonstrated that a multiplicity of family patterns including joint families, nuclear families, single parent families, dual earner families and adoptive families have always coexisted, illustrating the presence of family plurality in the Indian context. Unfortunately, unrecognised and unchallenged biases in the research process hindered their early cognisance. Even though the authors acknowledge this, they have adopted the chronological phases of family research in India as the mode of presentation for the paper in order that an appreciation of the evolution of family studies in the country, the biases of family researchers as well as the process of according recognition to family plurality in India may emerge.
PREMILLA D'CRUZ and SHALINI BHARAT, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
Beyond Joint and Nuclear: The Indian Family Revisited
Careful perusal of the family literature in India dispels the belief that the Indian family was basically joint, and that following industrialisation and urbanisation, the nuclear family replaced it. On the contrary, the literature demonstrates that family plurality has been an essential feature of Indian society and that joint, nuclear, single parent, dual earner and adoptive families have always coexisted. The evolution of family research, characterised by distinct phases, each with specific questions, resulted in biases in the research process that hindered the early cognisance of this reality. This paper discusses the multiplicity of family forms simultaneously present in the country. The authors have adopted the chronological phases of family research in India as the mode of presentation in order that an appreciation of the development of family studies in the country, the biases of family researchers and the process of according recognition to family plurality in India emerges.
PREMILLA D'CRUZ and SHALINI BHARAT, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
Beyond Joint and Nuclear: The Indian Family Revisited
Un examen attentif de la litterature de la famille en Inde dissipe 1' opinion que la famille indienne etiat autrefois fondamentalement collective ('joint family'), et que la famille nucleaire I'aremplacee apres l'arrivee de l'industrialisation et l'urbanisation. Au contraire, la litterature demontre que la pluralite des formes de la famille a ete un trait essential de la societe indienne et que la famille collective ('joint family'), la famille nucleaire, la famille avec un seul parent, la famille ou les deux epoux travaillent et la famille adoptive ont toujours coexiste. Le developpement de la recherche sur la famille en Inde est caracterise par des phases distinctes. En chacune de ces phases, on pose des questions specifiques. Ce type de la recherche a produit des prejuges qui ont empeche que l'on reconnait la realite. Cet article traite de la multiplicite des formes de la famille qui existent simultanement en Inde. Les auteurs ont suivi la methode de Ia presentation, celle qui distingue des phases chronologiques de la recherche sur la famille en lade. Ainsi, on pourra plus facilement voir 1' evolution des etudes sur Ia famille indienne, les prejuges des chercheurs, et comment on a reconnu la pluralite de la famille indienne.
PREMILLA D'CRUZ and SHALINI BHARAT, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
Beyond Joini and Nuclear: The Indian Family Revisited
Un cuidadoso estudio de la literature en la India sobre Ia familia despide la creencia que la familias de la India eran 'juntadas' y que despues de la industrializacion y la urbanizacion, la familia nuclear la sustituto. De lo contrario, la literature demuestra que la pluralidad de las formas familiaries es una caracteristica essencial de la sociedad indiana y que la familia 'juntada', nuclear, la de pariente singular, la de los dos parientes trabajando, y familias adoptivas siempre han coexistido. La evolucion de la investigacion familiar, se caracteriza con diferentes fases, cada una con cuestiones especificas, resultando con prejuicios en el proceso de la investigacion que impedio el adelantado reconocimiento de esa realidad. Este trabajo se trata de la multiplicidad de las formas familiares, simultaneamente presente en el pais. Las autores han adoptado las fases cronologicas de la investigacion sobre la familia en la India como modo de presentacion, de modo que se realiza mas claramente, une apreciacion del desarrollo de estudios sobre la familia en el pais; los prejuicios de los investigadores y el proceso de reconocimiento de pluralidad de formas familiares en la India.
(*.) This is a revised version of the paper written by Ms. Premilla D'Cruz as a part of M. Phil requirements at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), under the guidance of Dr. Shalini Bharat. Ms. D'Cruz thank Theo Mathias, sj. and Joe Saldanha, sj. of XLRI, Jamshedpur, for their assistance with the French and Spanish translations, respectively.
(**.) Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
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