Family-In family household ascended a comeback to a record

Family-In
the context of human society, it is a group of people related by consanguinity
or affinity or a combination of these. Members of family may include a father,
mother, brother or a sister. Members of extended family, also known as joint
family or multi-generational family, include grandparents, aunts, uncles,
cousins, nephews, nieces and/or siblings in law.

A family
that lives together with all family members up to 2nd generation
like grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts is called a Joint family. It is a common belief that living in
an extended family household provides us with a few advantages such as feeling
of safety and belonging, more variety of role models for the youth of the
family to learn something from. An estimated 49 million
Americans (16.1% of the total population) live in homes comprising three or
more generations, up from 42 million in 2000. This situation is similar in
Western Europe. Another 34 percent live within a kilometre of their children.  In many cultures such as Asians, middle eastern,
Africans, eastern Europeans, southern Europeans and Latin Americans, extended
families are the basic family unit. Even in some parts of Western Europe,
extended family system was clearly prevalent.

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Nowadays, most Americans live in the same households with
their families due to poor economy and changing social factors, as told by a
research group. According to the Pew research Centre’s social and demographic
trends project, 16 percent of the US population live in multi-generational
households. The Pew research analysis also said that since bottoming out around
1980, the extended family household ascended a comeback to a record 49 million
Americans in 2008 due to mix of social and economic factors.  The number of Americans living with their
extended family grew by2.6 millions in years between 2007 and 2008. It has also
been noted recently that about one in five adults aged 25-35 and adults aged 65
or older live with extended family.

Social factors that are the root cause of multi-generational
household include high median age of first time marriage. As a result, there
are more unmarried Americans in their 20s that find it convenient living with
their parents because the bad economy makes it difficult to find jobs or houses
on their own.  The Pew report also stated
that moving in with family is a financial lifeline for Americans.
Multi-generational families share income amongst everyone living in the
household.   In typical households,
the head-of-household accounts for 85.7 percent of family income. In
multigenerational homes, the head of the household accounts for about half of
the family’s income.

In saudi Arabia, there is a strong joint family system,
mainly patriarchal because men hold a great deal of authority in Saudi Arabia.
But due to the rapid modernization and social change in the kingdom the norms
and values which were deeply rooted are now foreseeing a change. The extended
family concept that is prevailing is mainly due to the strong Islamic culture
that is practiced in the kingdom. This culture has a great deal of respect for
their elders. Their elders are the decision makers of the family as was done in
the previous years in the kingdom.  Saudis prefer to live closely
among their relatives and chose to wed in close relatives. The family values,
norms and culture is the strength of the kingdom , though there are many social
and behavioral changes taking place but family is considered as a strength of a
common man.

If we
talk about the family system in China, family has been an integral part in the
Chinese society. Not only that, at least three of the Confucius’ teaching
mainly concentrated on family; Husband and Wife, Father and son and Elder
brother and Younger brother. So due to this, it was common for the Chinese,
even for fully grown adults with children of their own to live close to their
hometown and also have many, if not all, generations live under the same roof. The concept of family was such a strong belief that it was one of the
few ideological concepts to have survived a decade long of strife and violence
of Cultural Revolution. Although elders of china claim that
young adults born after 1980s possess no moral compass, strong standards of
behaviour or even emotional attachment to families, they never stopped
believing in significance of a family. In China, extended family system
dominated the society in the past. Son were permanent members of the family
whereas daughters had to leave their natal family at the time of marriage.
While studying about the Chinese family, Ogla Lang identified two types of
joint family system which include the stem family system, comprising of
parents, the unmarried children except one married son with his wife and
children, and the joint family involving parents, unmarried and married children
with their wives and children. .

The four generational family, known as
si shi tong tang in Chinese, which consisted of sons and their descendants
living under the same roof was never considered usual, although it may have
been the social ideal, because of its requirement of low morality rates, social
and economic stability.

in a Chinese extended family, all
members have a small share in property and share a common budget as well. Their
work is interdependent. Sometimes, in some extended families, behind all this
unity and solidarity, they have the potential to arise conflicts which may
cause them to go through the process of family division, otherwise known as fen
jia in Chinese. Family division can break families into smaller units such as
nuclear or conjugal families. The idea of family division is highly disliked
but it is also inevitable. It is suggested that wealthier families are less
likely to divide. . It was found that incentives to preserve the extended family
were greater in villages where reliance on labour-intensive cash crops or
cottage industries rewarded unified budgets. The structural changes in village economy had important
consequences. The increased participated of women in paid labour of force
improved their position in household. In villages where such changes occurred,
family division was more likely to happen. In another study of families in
china, it had been suggested that such diversification in the economy led to
the disappearance of traditional extended families.

In
Pakistan, the first question to be asked when a girl is getting married is, “Is
she going to be living in a joint family system or a nuclear family system?”
and this is because people living in Pakistan consider this the main issue for
the husband, wife and their upcoming children. Back in the 80s, living in a
joint family system was believed to be a better family system to live in as
compared to the nuclear family system. Pakistani society is divided into two
parts; urban society and rural society. As the world progresses day by day, it
has brought many changes which have affected many cultures and traditions. For
instance, majority of the population of Pakistan used to prefer joint family
over nuclear family. However, due to witnessing more disadvantages of living in
an extended family household than advantages has changed this popular belief.
Nowadays, many Pakistanis believe that living in an extended family household
provides us with more disadvantages than advantages. They believe that this
concept has decreased due to various reasons including lack of tolerance, interference,
nepotism and jealousy. As majority believes that extended families only bring
disadvantages, there are a few exceptions who think the opposite. They believe
that it provides the youth of the family to have many role models to look up to
and to have adult world experiences shared with them. The elders of the family
particularly like extended family system as it gives them joy to see such a big
and happy family with kids playing around and to see the young ones bond with
one another. They also prefer to stay with their own family to be taken care
of. As they can’t fully depend on themselves anymore, they refer to their own
family to be completely dependent on morally, economically, emotionally and
physically. But due to this change of opinion, as more and more joint families
are being converted into nuclear families, this will completely destroy the
care of family and its values to the elders.

The main
causes of living in a joint family comprise of mainly financial support,
economic instability, feeling of solidarity, economic and physical reliance of
the elderly, unemployment, improvement of family relations and to keep the
family culture and tradition alive. Many people who suffer from financial instability
tend to prefer living in a joint family system to have the support of the
family. People also prefer to live in a joint family to experience feeling of
solidarity and unity. It also gives you a sense of belonging and security and
no matter what you go through, your family will always have your back. Family
always stays together, through thick and thin. Living with their children and
grandchildren is certainly is a blessing for the elderly. They have someone
close to them to rely on emotionally and physically.  People who live independently or away from
their family usually cause their family traditions and cultures to end. This is
also the reason why people fancy living with their families, to keep the family
traditions alive for the future generations. However, as there are many
advantages of extended family systems, many families have to suffer from the
drawbacks as well. Not all extended families are as open-minded and liberal as
the others. In some families, the elders follow the old norms and live
according to old times. But the youngsters in the family like to follow the new
trends and to live according to today’s world. But unfortunately, due to their
close minded families, if they slightly stray away from their own family
culture and to live according to today’s date they are considered as the
disgrace of the family. The head of the family is usually considered as the one
to share all your problems with. But because youngsters nowadays like to keep
things to them and because they don’t share everything they are considered as
the rebel of the family. Today’s generation prefers to be independent and to
not burden others with their problems, which is something conservative families
don’t understand. This problem is connected to the problem of privacy. In most
joint families, the concept of privacy isn’t paid as much attention as it
deserves. Young people of the family find it especially displeasing as they
prefer to stay private about a few things. Joint families in some cases improve
relations and in some cases wreck relations. In every family, there is one
person who is jealous of others and is the root cause of petty arguments
amongst the members and is also the one to spread conspiracies about one
particular member. Their main focus is to grab all the opportunity they get to
taunt and take advantage of innocent family members.  Another major disadvantage of living in an
extended family household is the limited space you are provided with. At times,
cousins and siblings have to share one room which causes lack of privacy and
discomfort. There isn’t enough space for everyone.

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