Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Joint Family Dispute in a Mysore Village- M N Srinivas

In an important papar: A joint family dispute in a Mysore village written in 1952 M.N Srinivas distinguishes the joint family from the brotherhood or lineage.He takes the joint family as a multifunctional group and defines its composition in general terms .It consists of the descendents in the male line of a common ancestor and their wives , sons ,married as well as unmarried  and unmarried daughters.

Srinivas has in view the joint family in which the male members are either father,two or more married sons ,one or more unmarried sons and unmarried grandsons or two or more married sons  and unmarried grandsons or two or more married brothers one or more unmarried brothers  and brother's unmarried sons.Some categories of relatives who do not fall within the scope of these joint families  or of the elementary family are classed along with the latter.He doesnot provide a stereotype description of interpersonal relations between father and son,between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law,between brothers and their wives  but a graphic description of the process of partition of a joint family household composed of a widow mother,her three married sons and their wives and children,one unmarried son and a deceased son's son.He shows what happens in a joint family when two or more married brothers live their widow mother after their father's death and when the brothers have the responsibililty of looking after an unmarried younger brother and a deceased brother's minor son.
" It is only where the joint family has vast lands or huge commercial interests or a great sense of family tradition or when it is spread over a wide area that it continues to remain joint even after the brothers have become heads of elementary families.Tension between brothers or cousins diminish considerably if they do not share the same house."

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