Key Difference: In simple terms, the main difference between joint family and nuclear family is that a joint family is a big family, whereas a nuclear family is a small family.
Family is the most important part of a person; from an early age a child is taught the importance of a family and the part he/she is expected to play in the family. Girls are most commonly taught about cooking, while boys are taught the family business. However, these importances are differentiated according to the families people live in. In this article, let us mainly focus on two families, i.e. joint family and nuclear family.
In a joint family, even if parents go to work, grandparents will be taking care of the children. They will be instructing them the right manners and good qualities about life, and turn the life of children in the opposite way. In the nuclear family, parents quarrel with each other and there is no one to settle the issue. However, in joint family there are parents or in-laws to give advice to the parents to settle the issue.
Tribes, small villages, group of people and such small civilization units are the predecessors of the joint families. Joint families are still common in several parts of the worlds, India, China, African nations and even Arab nations having a large number of such families. Whereas, nuclear families are widely popular in the United States and Europe.
A major importance is placed on family; traditional cultures suggest living in joint families, where parents, male children, children’s spouses and grandchildren, all reside in the same house. However, nuclear families have started receiving more importance in urban cultures.
Comparison between Joint Family and Nuclear Family:
A type of extended family composed of parents, their children, and the children's spouses and offspring in one household.
A social unit composed of two parents and one or more children.
Joint Family is mostly helpful in developing good qualities of the individual.
In a nuclear family, it is not necessary that parents can’t develop good qualities in their children, but yes, it is true that this becomes difficult at times.
The primary emotion is a general affectionate bond between two generations and within the members of the generations.
Nuclear family is mainly based upon the emotion of parental love and sibling connection and hence the structural functionalism (mechanism of relationships) is fairly straightforward.
Joint families have less freedom.
Nuclear families have more freedom.
Joint family has less financial needs.
Nuclear family has more financial needs.
Youngsters who prefer social life with better support system prefer joint families.
Youngsters prefer freedom and less restriction choose nuclear family.
Joint families have more quarrels.
Nuclear families have fewer quarrels.
The difference between the nuclear family and the extended family is that a nuclear family refers to a single basic family unit of parents and their children, whereas the extended family refers to their relatives, as well – such as grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, etc. In many cultures, and particularly indigenous societies, the extended family unit rather than the nuclear family unit is the most common basic form of social organization.
A nuclear family is limited, according to Kristy Jackson of Colorado State University, to one or two parents (e.g. a father and mother) and their own child, or children, living together in a single house or other dwelling. In anthropology, they only must be related in this fashion; there is no upper or lower limit on the number of children in a nuclear family.
The extended family is a much more nebulous term, but in essence refers to kin or relations not covered by the above definition. In historical Europe and Asia as well as in Middle Eastern, African, and American Aboriginal cultures, extended family groups were typically the most basic unit of social organization. The term can differ in specific cultural settings, but generally includes people related in age or by lineage. Anthropologically, the term “extended family” refers to such a group living together in a household, often with three generations living together (grandparents, parents, and children) and headed in patriarchal societies by the eldest man or by some other chosen leadership figure. However, in common parlance, the term “extended family” is often used by people simply to refer to their cousins, aunts, uncles, and so on, even though they are not living together in a single group.
Historically, most people in the world have lived in extended family groupings rather than in nuclear families. This was even true in Europe and in the early United States, where multiple generations often lived together for economic reasons. During the 20th century, average income rose high enough that living apart as nuclear families became a viable option for the vast majority of the American population. In contrast, many indigenous societies and residents of developing countries continue to have multiple generations living in the same household. The rise of the nuclear family in the modern West does not necessarily mean that family arrangements have stabilized, either. The rapid growth in single-parent households, for instance, also represents a substantial change to the traditional nuclear family. More couples are also choosing not to have children at all.