Friday, August 21, 2009

Merits and De-Merits of Joint Family System

Joint family system is one of the salient features of the family organization. For centuries together the system severed its purpose and to live in joint family was just a matter of routine. But during the past few years the system has come under criticism and in rapidly waning. It is being replaced by single family system.
A. Merits of Joint Family System:
(1) Division of Labour: In a joint family system division of labour is possible. Each member of family has some allotted work, which he is required to finish. Such a division of labour, of course, has its obvious advantages, which need to detain us more.
(2) Advantages of Agricultural Economy: In an agricultural economy much manpower is needed. We require people for sowing, ploughing, harve, sting and wind. All this possible and practicable only in a joint family system. In agricultural economy, it is useful in another way also. It saves land from sub-division at every stage and thus consolidation of land becomes possible. Prig land holding also make corrective cultivation practical and easy. Thus joint family system is essential in an agricultural economy.
(3) It provides Minimum Existence: As we know in a joint family each one earns according to his capacity and gets according to his needs. Thus every member of family is ensured of at least some food, clothing and shelter, which are very essential for a healthy and developed economy.
(4) It Encourages Social virtues: A joint family system encourages many social virtues. Sine the members belonging to joint family have different taste and habits etc. It is essential that all should be adjusted and accommodated; Members develop love, affection, sympathy and many other social virtues.
(5) It is Economical: Living in a joint family system is very economical. There is possible of collective cooking, common shelter and collective consumption and purchasing on large scale. This considerably brings down the cost of living and makes family living cheap and economical.
B. Demerits of Joint Family System:
Joint family system is not all good. It has its disadvantages as well which may be discussed as under.
(1) Hindrance in development: In this system progress and development of members in hindered. Since at every stage protection is available, therefore, no one tries to exert or act independently. Therefore development of all is hindered. Moreover in a family an active and exerting member has no place because he can not go much out the way of family rules must be honoured in true sense and spirit.
(2) There is Rio Privacy in it: In a joint family system there is no privacy even for the newly wedded young couples with result that they cannot enjoy their individual problems in the presence of the elders and other members of family. In this way life becomes burden on them.
(3) Miserable conditions of Women: In this system the condition of women is miserable and pitiable, they are required to work through out the day either in cleaning the houses or utensils or cooking or washing the clothes. They can not sit free to discuss family problems or to chat. They even do not find time to go out and enjoy. For them there are Rio opportunities to express their opinion and ventilate their difficulties and grievances.
(4) It perpetuates Orthodoxy: A head of family who is an old man heads a joint family. He is not prepared to accept changes and break customs and traditions, which the family has been pursuing for the last many decades. He will desire that old superstitions and orthodoxy should continue. Thus introduction of new ideas becomes more or less impossible in a joint family.
Joint family obviously has its own merits and demerits. But in spite of all its advantages rural Pakistan still own it where as urban people due to their own problems discuss it not only in Pakistan but also all over the world. Pakistan is not very much in favour of joint family system, but it will be wrong to believe that in future it will completely disintegrate.

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