Joint Family is recognised as a social institution from time immemorial. It is a large social group in which the father, mother, their mature and immature children, their brother and parents live together. In general, a family is called a joint family where the members in a house, taking food in a common cookery enjoy undivided landed property, participate in a common worship and united in blood relationship.
The senior member of the family is known as Karta. Joint Family is mostly helpful in developing good qualities of the individual. C.H. Cooley, the famous American sociologist, describes joint family as the primary social institution of Indian Social System. K.M. Panikar opines that joint family is the backbone of Hindu Society. Joint Family, therefore, is an indispensable part of Indian Social Organisation. It is a classical and unique form of family in India.
Definition of Joint Family: Following are the importance definitions of joint family.
According to Iravati Karve, “Joint Family is a group of people who generally live under one roof, who eat food cooked at one hearth, who held property in common and who participate in common family worship and are related to each other as some type of kindred”.
According to K.M.Kapadia, “Joint Family is a group formed not only of a couple and their children, but also other relations either from father’s side of from mother’s side depending on whether the joint family is patrilineal or matrilineal.”
According to E.A.Rose, traditional joint family was a kind of entity of those related to each other as some type of kindred. Co-residence, common property and commensality, co-worship as well as the observance of certain rights and obligations are some of the essential features of the joint family”.