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Nuclear Family

We live in a world where technology has reached its current epitome, maybe. The world where keeping a picture of your loved ones in the wallet is seldom but posting the picture some random guy you met in some, even more randomly, is important. Nowadays, even people don’t wish to stay with their family and relatives. George Murdock, an observer of families took the liberty and offered a brief description of what exactly a family is, and quoted “The family is social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults. This staying individually in one’s house, away from the relatives is a western concept, also called as a nuclear family.


Let’s now understand this concept of nuclear family. Nuclear family or elementary family system consist of a family having a pair of a woman and a man (both adults) and their children (one or more). It’s a bit different from single parent system and highly contrasts from an extended family system. The nuclear family system centers on the married couple. If we talk about the history of this idea, family structure of one parent and their children were present in Western Europe and New England in the 17th century and influenced by church and theocratic government.  With the emergence of industrialization and early capitalism, a nuclear family thought became the most viable social unit. The distribution of finance a smaller group of individuals is always a better thought. The concept that a narrowly defined nuclear family is central to stability in modern society has been promoted by social conservatives in the United States and has been challenged as historically and sociologically inadequate to describe the complexity of actual family relations.


If we talk about advantages, growing up in a nuclear family have some distinct edge.
1. Development of personality: Nuclear family allows an individual to explore himself and develop his personality. The parents in a small family can have regular talks and discussions with their children and can try to develop a bond of frankness which can also help in the development of their personality as well.
2. Better Condition for Women: The concept of nuclear family empowers women. It gives opposite sex the equal opportunity and prepositions attempts on anything, regardless of job, food, travel or others.  Even the female in this concept have their space which they might get in this conservative Indian society.
3. Less number of Children: This nuclear family promotes less reproduction and sexually liberty. The thought of carrying all expenses and liabilities of the children helps them limit the family. The nuclear family promotes family planning.
4. Peace and Individual responsibility: There no shifting of responsibility of like in the joint family. The nuclear family has less number of individuals and hence all responsibility is divided among those people itself.


The nuclear family understands to be a better family system but it also has some constraints.

  1. Loneliness: Feeling of loneliness is one of the major drawbacks. The feeling of depression and distress affects the individual alone in the house. The housewife after completing their regular work and task feel lonely. In an emergency, this can turn out to be a major issue as there is no one to support.
  2. Insecure for old, widow and Divorce: In a nuclear family, old, widow and divorced are often neglected. Physically and psychologically they feel insecure.
  3. Agency to develop bad habits: As there is no support or regular guidance of elders, the children to learn bad habits like theft, and lead their life in indiscipline way.
  4. Economic Disadvantages: The property of the family is divided among the brothers and each life separately. The land being subdivided does not yield much production results the land as an uneconomic holding.

With many disadvantages, the nuclear family still remains the backbone of the modern family system.  The advantages certainly outnumber the disadvantages and prevail as paramount.

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