Following are the characteristics of joint family:
1) A Group of people:
Joint family is generally a group of people or collection of human beings, who are related to each other by blood, Relations among the members of joint family are direct close, intimate and personal.
1) Large in Size:
The size of joint family is very large. Joint family is composed of father, mother, their married and unmarried children, uncles, aunts, their children, grand-father, and grandmother and so on. Thus, joint family is so large in size and it includes those people who are related by close bonds.
3) Common Residence:
All the members of joint family live together in a common or single residence. That means they live jointly less than one roof. Though in modern times, lack of adequate accommodation forces the members of joint family to live in separate houses but their membership continues.
4) Common Property:
Another important characteristic of joint family is common property which is shared by all members. The members of joint family have equal rights over their property. Both movable and immovable property is owned jointly. Wealth and goods of joint family are produced and consumed collectively.
The head of the family looks after joint family. The existence of a joint family continues so long as the property is owned jointly. Therefore, joint family is simply the common ownership of the means of production and common enjoyment of fruits of labour.
5) Common Religion:
Joint family is the centre of all religious rituals; all member of joint family believes in common religion. They worship gods or goddesses which are common them. They have common faith and they perform many religious ceremonies and rituals in a collective way. This common worship is handed down from generation to generation. Thus common faith and common belief bring unity and integrity to the family.
6) Rule by Karta:
Joint Family is directly ruled by the eldest married male member who is popularly known as ‘Karta’. He is the supreme authority of family members. He controls all members of his family. He has absolute power over the members and family matter. All the members of family compulsorily obey the orders of the Karta.
7) Mutual Co-operation:
Joint family system is always based on mutual co-operation of the members because, without it the existence of joint family is almost, impossible. Thus the members of joint family work collectively on the basis of co-operation for the welfare of the family.