Social Class, Fertility, and Authority in Nuclear and Joint Households in Bombay*

in Journal of Asian and African Studies
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The results of this study of 1,022 Bombay families shows that households organized in conformity with the traditional preference for patrilineal or fraternal co-residence are relatively rare, constituting only 14% of the total. In the middle class the majority of the families studied were living as nuclear households; among the working class part of the sample, the majority type were extended family households consisting of kin combinations other than the normatively preferred patrilineal and fraternal combinations. Two theories concerning factors which influence the relative frequency of the three household types were tested. First, an economic resources theory was explored using a 22-item level of living index. The findings suggest that among the working class, joint households are associated with economic pressures which force extended kin groups into already overcrowded dwellings; whereas among the middle class a traditional-joint type household may reflect sufficient resources to enjoy this culturally valued style of family organization. An ideological diffusion theory was also tested using education as an index of exposure to non-traditional ideas and therefore predicting that the average

Social Class, Fertility, and Authority in Nuclear and Joint Households in Bombay*

in Journal of Asian and African Studies


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