Family, the basic unit of life, is usually defined as parents and children living together as a single unit (though this might not always be the case). Families have evolved over time and we can now find many types of families based on the criterion used for classification. Let us now dive into the types of family-based of certain criteria:
- On the basis of marriage, families are divided into
1)Monogamous family: In this kind of family, a man married only one woman at a time.
2)Polygamous family: In this kind of family, a man marries many women.
3)Polyandrous family: In this kind of family, a woman gets married to many men (she could live either with each of them alternately or with all of them).
- On the basis of residence, families are divided into
1)Matrilocal family: In this kind of family, the husband lives in the house of the wife.
2)Patrilocal family: In this kind of family, the wife lives in the house of the husband.
- On the basis of descent, families are divided into
1)Matrilineal family: In this kind of family, women are considered as the ancestors of the family and the mother is the basis of descent. The position of everyone in the famous is dependent on one’s relationship with the mother.
2)Patrilineal family: In this kind of family, men are believed to carry forward the ancestry. This type of family is very typical of many societies.
- On the basis of authority, families are divided into
1)Matriarchal family: In this kind of family, the mother is considered the head of the family. The mother takes decisions on behalf of the family and the husband is her subordinate. The upbringing of the children is in the home of a relation of the mother. The property of the mother goes to female children only. It is believed to be a characteristic of primitive societies since the mother was in charge of the children while men were not home. This kind of family is followed by Khasis and Garos of the North East.
2)Patriarchal family: In this kind of family, the head of a family is a male. Everyone else is subordinate. This type of family is very much prevalent in India. The wife leaves her parents’ house and lives with her husband. The offspring inherits the father’s proper and they have no say over that of their mother’s.
- On the basis of structure, families are divided into
1)Nuclear family: In this kind of family, there lives a husband along with his wife and children. These families are very common in the USA. There is very little interdependence among the grandparents, parents, and children.
2)Small extended family: In this kind of family, grandparents, parents, and children living together. It is made of two nuclear families (grandparents and parents as well as parents and children).
3)Large extended family: In this kind of family, there are many people. A grandfather with his multiple wives, their married as well as unmarried children and then, unmarried grandchildren. Everyone might be sharing a single roof or they might live in closely knit houses. Many Hindu families are of this kind.
- On the basis of blood relations, families are divided into
1)Conjugal family: In this kind of family, spouses live along with their children as well as relations through marriage.
2)Consanguine family: In this kind of family, blood relations live together with their spouses and children.
These are the conventional families that have been in existence for quite a while. There can also be single-parent families, childless families, stepfamilies as well as grandparent families which have come into vogue in the recent past.
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