Although the joint family has a number of functions, it is not free from criticism. The main disadvantages of joint family are that it hinders the development of personality, causes miserable condition of women, makes home for idlers, becomes a center of quarrels, lacks privacy, causes uncontrolled reproduction, and brings down the standard of living and son. These demerits of joint family may briefly be stated below:
1. Hinders the development of personality:
The ‘Karta’ or the head of the joint family is the sole authority in taking decisions in family affairs. He is all in all in the family and his decision is trust on all other members. Such an authoritarian pattern arrests the scope for developing the personality of the juniors through independent thinking.
2. Causes miserable position of woman:
The status of woman is extremely low in the joint family system. The condition of the girl child is deplorable. The daughter-in-law finds it very difficult to adjust in the joint family environment. She not only works day and night but also faces the ill treatment by the mother- in-law and sister-in-laws. She is treated like a slave. In many a case, the daughter-in-law takes resort to suicide due to unbearable ill-treatment.
3. Makes Home for Idlers:
Due to collective responsibility in the joint family, the active members work harder, but the lazy members become lazier because without doing the productive work, they are not deprived of getting equal amount of food from the common kitchen. Instead of competing for work, the lazy members compete in eating and sleeping.
4. Becomes a center of quarrels:
Because of the presence of many women in the joint family quarrels become the everyday affair. Quarrels are common between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and sister-in-laws. At times the male members may also quarrel over the partition issue.
5. Lacks of privacy:
Privacy is denied in a joint family. Even the newly married couples do not get scope to discuss their problems in the presence of their elders. During the day time meeting the husband by the wife is causality. The married couples do not find the joint family atmosphere congenial to enjoy their married life in full on account of several restrictions placed on their conjugal life. As such the development of their personality is hampered.
6. Uncontrolled Reproduction:
It is the responsibility of the joint family to bring up the children and provide them education as they grow up. Therefore, no member feels the necessity of restricting the of children. Hence, the responsibilities of the joint family as a collectivity in respect of reproduce is just the reverse in case the individual members.
7. Declining Standard of Living:
The constant litigation, low position of women, absolute rule of the head, unrestricted reproduction, irresponsibility on the part of the members and lack of proper care of common property result in poor economic condition and the declining standard of living.
8. Other Dysfunctions:
In addition to the dysfunction already discussed above, some other minor dysfunctions of the joint family are also visualised. For example, absolute authority of the head who is orthodox fellow hinders the introduction of new ideas and encourages the persistence of practices, customs and traditions, etc. in the family. Another dysfunction is extravagant the members of joint family. Suspicion and doubt against each nuclear unit within the j family system also pollutes the family sphere.
If a comparison is made between the functions and dysfunctions of the joint family will be apparently clear that the dysfunctions have become instrumental in causing disintegration of the joint family system.