Thread: Family
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #4
Sabretooth's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mumbai
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
I'll dispute that the concept of a nuclear family is a recent capitalist invention in the first place. There have been families long before capitalism came into being. A nuclear family (father, mother, children) is described in a variety of ancient documents and legal codes--Bible (Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus being one of the more famous ones), Roman and Greek documents, etc. The nuclear family has existed for thousands of years.
Perhaps in the West, but the East has a completely different story. Joint families were considered the norm in Eastern cultures, such as India or China and their prevalence is noticeable in ancient texts and epics as well.

In fact, the changing nature of families from joint to nuclear is something we were asked to comment on in school. It's generally believed here that modernisation and industrialisation led to the formation of nuclear families - the direct causes being a need to be independent, easier economic management and migration. Migration is something I'll elaborate here, as it is something you can witness in modern India and China today.

If you look at the hinterlands of the two countries, you'll find that villagers live in joint families whenever possible, but economic conditions have forced them to move to cities. Villagers then usually send the able member of their family to earn in the city and send back money to support the family. The breadwinner creates a family in the city, and due to his already dire economic conditions, is forced to keep it as limited as possible.

Additionally, cities are running out of space. The householder has no choice but to ask his sons and daughters to make their homes elsewhere as their homes would most likely cap at 4-5 members. All of this works towards the glorification of the nuclear family model, which is seen as capitalist by our good Ctrl Alt Del.

Good thread, by the way, can make for a ton of discussion.

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