Greetings to the students and the teachers gathered here. “The most important things in the world are love and family”. Most of the time that we spend in life is along with family, especially in the Indian society.
Family is an important social unit that forms the basic element of society. Unlike many individualistic cultures, the collectivist nature of the Indian culture makes family very important for our social development and evolution of the society as a whole.
A family is a social unit comprising of individuals related by blood, marriage and adoption. The general family structure that differentiates it from a couple is the existence of children of the parent couple. Families could have more than one couple. When we look in the case of India, there are 2 major kinds of family- the joint family and nuclear family. The joint family comprises of couples of at least two different generations. For instance, there are grandparents, parents and their children living under a single household. The nuclear family on the other hand is a household of a couple and their children.
The family structure in India is undergoing a change with nuclear family becoming the dominant form of organisation. The major reason for this change is urbanisation. As more and more young people begin to seek employment in the cities, married couples set out to start their own families away from that of their parents on the cities in which they are employed. Relative changes in incomes and the ways in which people seek income have also helped this change.
Family has very many important functions to play. As we all know, the family is a space where we all receive that love and care that keeps us going. It’s all too common to say “we do for family” and that’s how important family is. It is a support system that we can fall back to during times of crisis and seek support. A very important role that family plays is by ensuring that the child born is able to satisfy all their basic needs and is cared for. It also enables the socialisation of individuals. As children, we may be unaware of the ways of the society, of what’s acceptable behaviour, what’s right and wrong. Through this process of socialisation, the family converts the individual into someone who has internalised the values and the norms of the society.
From a purely economic perspective, a family is a specialised unit where in individuals come together to divide their responsibilities in such a way that they become more productive. Every member of the family pools in their resources and divides their responsibilities such that they are able to specialise in one function and eventually get more output.
Family is an essential part of our individual and social life. In conclusion to this speech, I would like to state that families play an important role in our life and shape us as individual members of the society.