NCERT Textbook - Understanding Social Institutions Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

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Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Understanding Social Institutions Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 40 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
I
INTRODUCTION
This book began with a discussion
about the interaction of the individual
and society. We saw that each of us as
individuals, occupies a place or
location in society. Each one of us has
a status and a role or roles, but these
are not simply what we as individuals
choose. They are not like roles a film
actor may or may not opt to do. There
are social institutions that constrain and
control, punish and reward. They could
be ‘macro’ social institutions like the
state or  ‘micro’ ones like the family.
Here in this chapter we are introduced
to social institutions, and also to how
sociology/social anthropology studies
them. This chapter puts forth a very
brief idea of some of the central areas
where important social institutions are
located namely: (i) family, marriage and
kinship; (ii) politics; (iii) economics;
(iv) religion; and (v) education.
In the broadest sense, an
institution is something that works
according to rules established or at
least acknowledged by law or by
custom. And whose regular and
continuous operation cannot be
understood without taking those rules
into account. Institutions impose
constraints on individuals. They also
provide him/her with opportunities.
An institution can also be viewed as
an end in itself. Indeed people have
viewed family, religion, state or even
education as an end in itself.
We have already seen that  there
are conflicting and different
understandings of concepts within
sociology. We have also been introduced
to the functionalist and conflict
perspective, and seen how differently
they saw the same thing, for instance,
stratification or social control. Not
surprisingly, therefore, there are
different forms of understanding of
social institutions as well.
Activity 1
Think of examples of how people
sacrifice for family, for religion or for
the state.
2019-20
Page 2


 40 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
I
INTRODUCTION
This book began with a discussion
about the interaction of the individual
and society. We saw that each of us as
individuals, occupies a place or
location in society. Each one of us has
a status and a role or roles, but these
are not simply what we as individuals
choose. They are not like roles a film
actor may or may not opt to do. There
are social institutions that constrain and
control, punish and reward. They could
be ‘macro’ social institutions like the
state or  ‘micro’ ones like the family.
Here in this chapter we are introduced
to social institutions, and also to how
sociology/social anthropology studies
them. This chapter puts forth a very
brief idea of some of the central areas
where important social institutions are
located namely: (i) family, marriage and
kinship; (ii) politics; (iii) economics;
(iv) religion; and (v) education.
In the broadest sense, an
institution is something that works
according to rules established or at
least acknowledged by law or by
custom. And whose regular and
continuous operation cannot be
understood without taking those rules
into account. Institutions impose
constraints on individuals. They also
provide him/her with opportunities.
An institution can also be viewed as
an end in itself. Indeed people have
viewed family, religion, state or even
education as an end in itself.
We have already seen that  there
are conflicting and different
understandings of concepts within
sociology. We have also been introduced
to the functionalist and conflict
perspective, and seen how differently
they saw the same thing, for instance,
stratification or social control. Not
surprisingly, therefore, there are
different forms of understanding of
social institutions as well.
Activity 1
Think of examples of how people
sacrifice for family, for religion or for
the state.
2019-20
 41 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
A functionalist view understands
social institutions as a complex set of
social norms, beliefs, values and role
relationship that arise in response to
the needs of society. Social institutions
exist to satisfy social needs. Accordingly
we find informal and formal social
institutions in societies.  Institutions
such as family and religion are
examples of informal social institutions
while law and (formal) education are
formal social institutions.
A conflict view holds that all
individuals are not placed equally in
society. All social institutions whether
familial, religious, political, economic,
legal or educational will operate in the
interest of the dominant sections of
society be it class, caste, tribe or gender.
The dominant social section not only
dominates political and economic
institutions but also ensures that the
ruling class ideas become the ruling
ideas of a society. This is very different
from the idea that there are general
needs of a society.
As you go about reading this
chapter, see whether you can think
of examples to show how social
institutions constrain and also offer
opportunities to individuals. Notice
whether they impact different sections
of society unequally.  For instance, we
could ask, “How does the family
constrain as well provide opportunities
to men and women?” Or “How do
political or legal institutions affect the
privileged and dispossessed?”
II
FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP
Perhaps no other social entity appears
more ‘natural’ than the family. Often we
are prone to assume that all families are
like the ones we live in. No other social
institution appears more universal and
unchanging. Sociology and social
anthropology have over many decades,
conducted field research across
cultures to show how the institutions
of family, marriage and kinship are
important in all societies and yet their
character is different in different
societies. They have also shown how the
family (the private sphere) is linked to
economic, political, cultural and
educational (the public) spheres. This
may remind you of why there is a need
to share and borrow from different
disciplines, which we have discussed in
Chapter 1.
According to the functionalists the
family performs important tasks, which
contribute to society’s basic needs and
helps perpetuate social order. The
functionalist perspective argues that
modern industrial societies function
best if women look after the family and
men earn the family livelihood. In India
studies however suggest that families
need not become nuclear in an
industrial pattern of economy (Singh
1993: 83). This is but one example to
show how trends based on experiences
of one society cannot necessarily be
generalised.
The nuclear family is seen as the
unit best equipped to handle the
demands of industrial society by the
2019-20
Page 3


 40 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
I
INTRODUCTION
This book began with a discussion
about the interaction of the individual
and society. We saw that each of us as
individuals, occupies a place or
location in society. Each one of us has
a status and a role or roles, but these
are not simply what we as individuals
choose. They are not like roles a film
actor may or may not opt to do. There
are social institutions that constrain and
control, punish and reward. They could
be ‘macro’ social institutions like the
state or  ‘micro’ ones like the family.
Here in this chapter we are introduced
to social institutions, and also to how
sociology/social anthropology studies
them. This chapter puts forth a very
brief idea of some of the central areas
where important social institutions are
located namely: (i) family, marriage and
kinship; (ii) politics; (iii) economics;
(iv) religion; and (v) education.
In the broadest sense, an
institution is something that works
according to rules established or at
least acknowledged by law or by
custom. And whose regular and
continuous operation cannot be
understood without taking those rules
into account. Institutions impose
constraints on individuals. They also
provide him/her with opportunities.
An institution can also be viewed as
an end in itself. Indeed people have
viewed family, religion, state or even
education as an end in itself.
We have already seen that  there
are conflicting and different
understandings of concepts within
sociology. We have also been introduced
to the functionalist and conflict
perspective, and seen how differently
they saw the same thing, for instance,
stratification or social control. Not
surprisingly, therefore, there are
different forms of understanding of
social institutions as well.
Activity 1
Think of examples of how people
sacrifice for family, for religion or for
the state.
2019-20
 41 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
A functionalist view understands
social institutions as a complex set of
social norms, beliefs, values and role
relationship that arise in response to
the needs of society. Social institutions
exist to satisfy social needs. Accordingly
we find informal and formal social
institutions in societies.  Institutions
such as family and religion are
examples of informal social institutions
while law and (formal) education are
formal social institutions.
A conflict view holds that all
individuals are not placed equally in
society. All social institutions whether
familial, religious, political, economic,
legal or educational will operate in the
interest of the dominant sections of
society be it class, caste, tribe or gender.
The dominant social section not only
dominates political and economic
institutions but also ensures that the
ruling class ideas become the ruling
ideas of a society. This is very different
from the idea that there are general
needs of a society.
As you go about reading this
chapter, see whether you can think
of examples to show how social
institutions constrain and also offer
opportunities to individuals. Notice
whether they impact different sections
of society unequally.  For instance, we
could ask, “How does the family
constrain as well provide opportunities
to men and women?” Or “How do
political or legal institutions affect the
privileged and dispossessed?”
II
FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP
Perhaps no other social entity appears
more ‘natural’ than the family. Often we
are prone to assume that all families are
like the ones we live in. No other social
institution appears more universal and
unchanging. Sociology and social
anthropology have over many decades,
conducted field research across
cultures to show how the institutions
of family, marriage and kinship are
important in all societies and yet their
character is different in different
societies. They have also shown how the
family (the private sphere) is linked to
economic, political, cultural and
educational (the public) spheres. This
may remind you of why there is a need
to share and borrow from different
disciplines, which we have discussed in
Chapter 1.
According to the functionalists the
family performs important tasks, which
contribute to society’s basic needs and
helps perpetuate social order. The
functionalist perspective argues that
modern industrial societies function
best if women look after the family and
men earn the family livelihood. In India
studies however suggest that families
need not become nuclear in an
industrial pattern of economy (Singh
1993: 83). This is but one example to
show how trends based on experiences
of one society cannot necessarily be
generalised.
The nuclear family is seen as the
unit best equipped to handle the
demands of industrial society by the
2019-20
 42 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
functionalists. In such a family one
adult can work outside home while the
second adult cares for the home and
children. In practical terms, this
specialisation of roles within the
nuclear family involves the husband
adopting the ‘instrumental’ role as
breadwinner, and the wife assuming
the ‘affective’, emotional role in domestic
settings (Giddens 2001). This vision is
questionable not just because it is
gender unjust but because empirical
studies across cultures and history
show that it is untrue. Indeed, as you
will see in the discussion on work and
economy how in contemporary
industries like the garment export,
women form a large part of the labour
force. Such a separation also suggests
that men are necessarily the heads of
households. This is not necessarily true
as the box which is given below shows.
Variation in Family Forms
A central debate in India has been
about the shift from nuclear family to
joint families. We have already seen how
sociology questions common sense
impressions. The fact is that nuclear
families have always existed in India
particularly among deprived castes and
classes.
The sociologist A.M. Shah remarks
that in post-independent India the joint
family has steadily increased. The
contributing factor is the increasing life
expectancy in India according to him. It
has increased from 32.5 – 55.4 years
for men and from 31.7– 55.7 years for
women during the period 1941– 50
to 1981-85. Consequently, the
proportion of aged people (60 years and
above) in the total population has
increased. “We have to ask” writes Shah:
“in what kind of household do these
elderly people live? I submit, most
of them live in joint household”
(Shah 1998).
This again is a broad generalisation.
But in the spirit of the sociological
perspective, it cautions us against
blindly believing a common sense
impression that the joint family is fast
eroding. And alerts us to the need for
careful comparative and empirical
studies.
Studies have shown how diverse
family forms are found in different
Female headed households
When men migrate to urban areas, women have to plough and manage the
agricultural fields. Many a time they become the sole providers of their families.
Such households  are known as female headed households. Widowhood too
might create such familial arrangement. Or it may happen when men get
remarried and stop sending remittance to their wives, children and other
dependents. In such a situation, women have to ensure the maintenance of the
family. Among the Kolams, a tribal community in south-eastern Maharashtra
and northern Andhra Pradesh, a female headed household is an accepted norm.
2019-20
Page 4


 40 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
I
INTRODUCTION
This book began with a discussion
about the interaction of the individual
and society. We saw that each of us as
individuals, occupies a place or
location in society. Each one of us has
a status and a role or roles, but these
are not simply what we as individuals
choose. They are not like roles a film
actor may or may not opt to do. There
are social institutions that constrain and
control, punish and reward. They could
be ‘macro’ social institutions like the
state or  ‘micro’ ones like the family.
Here in this chapter we are introduced
to social institutions, and also to how
sociology/social anthropology studies
them. This chapter puts forth a very
brief idea of some of the central areas
where important social institutions are
located namely: (i) family, marriage and
kinship; (ii) politics; (iii) economics;
(iv) religion; and (v) education.
In the broadest sense, an
institution is something that works
according to rules established or at
least acknowledged by law or by
custom. And whose regular and
continuous operation cannot be
understood without taking those rules
into account. Institutions impose
constraints on individuals. They also
provide him/her with opportunities.
An institution can also be viewed as
an end in itself. Indeed people have
viewed family, religion, state or even
education as an end in itself.
We have already seen that  there
are conflicting and different
understandings of concepts within
sociology. We have also been introduced
to the functionalist and conflict
perspective, and seen how differently
they saw the same thing, for instance,
stratification or social control. Not
surprisingly, therefore, there are
different forms of understanding of
social institutions as well.
Activity 1
Think of examples of how people
sacrifice for family, for religion or for
the state.
2019-20
 41 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
A functionalist view understands
social institutions as a complex set of
social norms, beliefs, values and role
relationship that arise in response to
the needs of society. Social institutions
exist to satisfy social needs. Accordingly
we find informal and formal social
institutions in societies.  Institutions
such as family and religion are
examples of informal social institutions
while law and (formal) education are
formal social institutions.
A conflict view holds that all
individuals are not placed equally in
society. All social institutions whether
familial, religious, political, economic,
legal or educational will operate in the
interest of the dominant sections of
society be it class, caste, tribe or gender.
The dominant social section not only
dominates political and economic
institutions but also ensures that the
ruling class ideas become the ruling
ideas of a society. This is very different
from the idea that there are general
needs of a society.
As you go about reading this
chapter, see whether you can think
of examples to show how social
institutions constrain and also offer
opportunities to individuals. Notice
whether they impact different sections
of society unequally.  For instance, we
could ask, “How does the family
constrain as well provide opportunities
to men and women?” Or “How do
political or legal institutions affect the
privileged and dispossessed?”
II
FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP
Perhaps no other social entity appears
more ‘natural’ than the family. Often we
are prone to assume that all families are
like the ones we live in. No other social
institution appears more universal and
unchanging. Sociology and social
anthropology have over many decades,
conducted field research across
cultures to show how the institutions
of family, marriage and kinship are
important in all societies and yet their
character is different in different
societies. They have also shown how the
family (the private sphere) is linked to
economic, political, cultural and
educational (the public) spheres. This
may remind you of why there is a need
to share and borrow from different
disciplines, which we have discussed in
Chapter 1.
According to the functionalists the
family performs important tasks, which
contribute to society’s basic needs and
helps perpetuate social order. The
functionalist perspective argues that
modern industrial societies function
best if women look after the family and
men earn the family livelihood. In India
studies however suggest that families
need not become nuclear in an
industrial pattern of economy (Singh
1993: 83). This is but one example to
show how trends based on experiences
of one society cannot necessarily be
generalised.
The nuclear family is seen as the
unit best equipped to handle the
demands of industrial society by the
2019-20
 42 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
functionalists. In such a family one
adult can work outside home while the
second adult cares for the home and
children. In practical terms, this
specialisation of roles within the
nuclear family involves the husband
adopting the ‘instrumental’ role as
breadwinner, and the wife assuming
the ‘affective’, emotional role in domestic
settings (Giddens 2001). This vision is
questionable not just because it is
gender unjust but because empirical
studies across cultures and history
show that it is untrue. Indeed, as you
will see in the discussion on work and
economy how in contemporary
industries like the garment export,
women form a large part of the labour
force. Such a separation also suggests
that men are necessarily the heads of
households. This is not necessarily true
as the box which is given below shows.
Variation in Family Forms
A central debate in India has been
about the shift from nuclear family to
joint families. We have already seen how
sociology questions common sense
impressions. The fact is that nuclear
families have always existed in India
particularly among deprived castes and
classes.
The sociologist A.M. Shah remarks
that in post-independent India the joint
family has steadily increased. The
contributing factor is the increasing life
expectancy in India according to him. It
has increased from 32.5 – 55.4 years
for men and from 31.7– 55.7 years for
women during the period 1941– 50
to 1981-85. Consequently, the
proportion of aged people (60 years and
above) in the total population has
increased. “We have to ask” writes Shah:
“in what kind of household do these
elderly people live? I submit, most
of them live in joint household”
(Shah 1998).
This again is a broad generalisation.
But in the spirit of the sociological
perspective, it cautions us against
blindly believing a common sense
impression that the joint family is fast
eroding. And alerts us to the need for
careful comparative and empirical
studies.
Studies have shown how diverse
family forms are found in different
Female headed households
When men migrate to urban areas, women have to plough and manage the
agricultural fields. Many a time they become the sole providers of their families.
Such households  are known as female headed households. Widowhood too
might create such familial arrangement. Or it may happen when men get
remarried and stop sending remittance to their wives, children and other
dependents. In such a situation, women have to ensure the maintenance of the
family. Among the Kolams, a tribal community in south-eastern Maharashtra
and northern Andhra Pradesh, a female headed household is an accepted norm.
2019-20
 43 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
societies. With regard to the rule of
residence, some societies are matrilocal
in their marriage and family customs
while others are patrilocal. In the first
case, the newly married couple stays
with the woman’s parents, whereas in
the second case the couple lives with
the man’s parents. A patriarchal family
structure exists where the men
exercise authority and dominance, and
matriarchy where the women play a
major role in decision-making in the
family. While matrilineal societies exist,
the same cannot be claimed about
matriarchal societies.
Families are Linked to other Social
Spheres and Families Change
Often in our everyday life we look at
the family as distinct and separate from
other spheres such as the economic or
political. However, as you will see for
yourself the family, the household, its
structure and norms are closely linked
to the rest of society. An interesting
example is that of the unintended
consequences of the German uni-
fication. During the post-unification
period in the 1990s Germany
witnessed a rapid decline in marriage
Notice how families and residences are different
Work and Home
2019-20
Page 5


 40 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 3
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
I
INTRODUCTION
This book began with a discussion
about the interaction of the individual
and society. We saw that each of us as
individuals, occupies a place or
location in society. Each one of us has
a status and a role or roles, but these
are not simply what we as individuals
choose. They are not like roles a film
actor may or may not opt to do. There
are social institutions that constrain and
control, punish and reward. They could
be ‘macro’ social institutions like the
state or  ‘micro’ ones like the family.
Here in this chapter we are introduced
to social institutions, and also to how
sociology/social anthropology studies
them. This chapter puts forth a very
brief idea of some of the central areas
where important social institutions are
located namely: (i) family, marriage and
kinship; (ii) politics; (iii) economics;
(iv) religion; and (v) education.
In the broadest sense, an
institution is something that works
according to rules established or at
least acknowledged by law or by
custom. And whose regular and
continuous operation cannot be
understood without taking those rules
into account. Institutions impose
constraints on individuals. They also
provide him/her with opportunities.
An institution can also be viewed as
an end in itself. Indeed people have
viewed family, religion, state or even
education as an end in itself.
We have already seen that  there
are conflicting and different
understandings of concepts within
sociology. We have also been introduced
to the functionalist and conflict
perspective, and seen how differently
they saw the same thing, for instance,
stratification or social control. Not
surprisingly, therefore, there are
different forms of understanding of
social institutions as well.
Activity 1
Think of examples of how people
sacrifice for family, for religion or for
the state.
2019-20
 41 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
A functionalist view understands
social institutions as a complex set of
social norms, beliefs, values and role
relationship that arise in response to
the needs of society. Social institutions
exist to satisfy social needs. Accordingly
we find informal and formal social
institutions in societies.  Institutions
such as family and religion are
examples of informal social institutions
while law and (formal) education are
formal social institutions.
A conflict view holds that all
individuals are not placed equally in
society. All social institutions whether
familial, religious, political, economic,
legal or educational will operate in the
interest of the dominant sections of
society be it class, caste, tribe or gender.
The dominant social section not only
dominates political and economic
institutions but also ensures that the
ruling class ideas become the ruling
ideas of a society. This is very different
from the idea that there are general
needs of a society.
As you go about reading this
chapter, see whether you can think
of examples to show how social
institutions constrain and also offer
opportunities to individuals. Notice
whether they impact different sections
of society unequally.  For instance, we
could ask, “How does the family
constrain as well provide opportunities
to men and women?” Or “How do
political or legal institutions affect the
privileged and dispossessed?”
II
FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP
Perhaps no other social entity appears
more ‘natural’ than the family. Often we
are prone to assume that all families are
like the ones we live in. No other social
institution appears more universal and
unchanging. Sociology and social
anthropology have over many decades,
conducted field research across
cultures to show how the institutions
of family, marriage and kinship are
important in all societies and yet their
character is different in different
societies. They have also shown how the
family (the private sphere) is linked to
economic, political, cultural and
educational (the public) spheres. This
may remind you of why there is a need
to share and borrow from different
disciplines, which we have discussed in
Chapter 1.
According to the functionalists the
family performs important tasks, which
contribute to society’s basic needs and
helps perpetuate social order. The
functionalist perspective argues that
modern industrial societies function
best if women look after the family and
men earn the family livelihood. In India
studies however suggest that families
need not become nuclear in an
industrial pattern of economy (Singh
1993: 83). This is but one example to
show how trends based on experiences
of one society cannot necessarily be
generalised.
The nuclear family is seen as the
unit best equipped to handle the
demands of industrial society by the
2019-20
 42 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
functionalists. In such a family one
adult can work outside home while the
second adult cares for the home and
children. In practical terms, this
specialisation of roles within the
nuclear family involves the husband
adopting the ‘instrumental’ role as
breadwinner, and the wife assuming
the ‘affective’, emotional role in domestic
settings (Giddens 2001). This vision is
questionable not just because it is
gender unjust but because empirical
studies across cultures and history
show that it is untrue. Indeed, as you
will see in the discussion on work and
economy how in contemporary
industries like the garment export,
women form a large part of the labour
force. Such a separation also suggests
that men are necessarily the heads of
households. This is not necessarily true
as the box which is given below shows.
Variation in Family Forms
A central debate in India has been
about the shift from nuclear family to
joint families. We have already seen how
sociology questions common sense
impressions. The fact is that nuclear
families have always existed in India
particularly among deprived castes and
classes.
The sociologist A.M. Shah remarks
that in post-independent India the joint
family has steadily increased. The
contributing factor is the increasing life
expectancy in India according to him. It
has increased from 32.5 – 55.4 years
for men and from 31.7– 55.7 years for
women during the period 1941– 50
to 1981-85. Consequently, the
proportion of aged people (60 years and
above) in the total population has
increased. “We have to ask” writes Shah:
“in what kind of household do these
elderly people live? I submit, most
of them live in joint household”
(Shah 1998).
This again is a broad generalisation.
But in the spirit of the sociological
perspective, it cautions us against
blindly believing a common sense
impression that the joint family is fast
eroding. And alerts us to the need for
careful comparative and empirical
studies.
Studies have shown how diverse
family forms are found in different
Female headed households
When men migrate to urban areas, women have to plough and manage the
agricultural fields. Many a time they become the sole providers of their families.
Such households  are known as female headed households. Widowhood too
might create such familial arrangement. Or it may happen when men get
remarried and stop sending remittance to their wives, children and other
dependents. In such a situation, women have to ensure the maintenance of the
family. Among the Kolams, a tribal community in south-eastern Maharashtra
and northern Andhra Pradesh, a female headed household is an accepted norm.
2019-20
 43 UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
societies. With regard to the rule of
residence, some societies are matrilocal
in their marriage and family customs
while others are patrilocal. In the first
case, the newly married couple stays
with the woman’s parents, whereas in
the second case the couple lives with
the man’s parents. A patriarchal family
structure exists where the men
exercise authority and dominance, and
matriarchy where the women play a
major role in decision-making in the
family. While matrilineal societies exist,
the same cannot be claimed about
matriarchal societies.
Families are Linked to other Social
Spheres and Families Change
Often in our everyday life we look at
the family as distinct and separate from
other spheres such as the economic or
political. However, as you will see for
yourself the family, the household, its
structure and norms are closely linked
to the rest of society. An interesting
example is that of the unintended
consequences of the German uni-
fication. During the post-unification
period in the 1990s Germany
witnessed a rapid decline in marriage
Notice how families and residences are different
Work and Home
2019-20
 44 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
because the new German state
withdrew all the protection and welfare
schemes which were provided to the
families prior to the unification. With
growing sense of economic insecurity
people responded by refusing to marry.
This can also be understood as a
case of unintended consequence
(Chapter 1).
Family and kinship are thus
subject to change and transformation
due to macro economic processes but
the direction of change need  not always
be similar for all countries and regions.
Moreover, change does not mean the
complete erosion of previous norms and
structure. Change and continuity
co-exist.
How gendered is the family?
The belief is that the male child will
support the parents in the old age and
the female child will leave on marriage
results in families investing more in a
male child. Despite the biological fact
that a female baby has better chances
of survival than a male baby the rate of
infant mortality among female children
is higher in comparison to male
children in lower age group in India.
The Institution of Marriage
Historically marriage has been found
to exist in a wide variety of forms in
Sex Ratio in India between 1901-2011
Year Sex Ratio  Year Sex Ratio
1901  972  1961 941
1911  964  1971 930
1921  955  1981 934
1931   950  1991 926
1941  945  2001 933
1951 946 2011 940
Activity 2
A Telegu expression states:
‘Bringing up a daughter is like
watering a plant in another’s
courtyard’. Find out other such
sayings that are contrary. Discuss
how popular sayings reflect the
social arrangement of a society,
The incidence of female foeticide has led to a sudden decline in the sex ratio. 
The child sex ratio has declined from 934 per thousand males in 1991 to 927 in
2001.  The percentage of decline in the child sex ratio is more alarming.  The
situation of prosperous states like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and western
Utter Pradesh is all the more grave.  In Punjab the  child sex ratio has declined
to 793 girls per 1,000 boys.  In some of the districts of Punjab and Haryana it
has fallen below 700.
2019-20
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