Compare the definition of family and the family relationships in United States with that of India

Comparison of Families in the U.S and in India



In the U.S, family is defined as a group of two or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together (Strong & Cohen, 2013). Most of U.S families are traditional nuclear families. On the other hand, family is viewed as a unique feature of the land in India. Here family is defined as involving the concept of consaquinity and adoption (Mahanta, 2008). In India, maternal relatives are considered as part of the family. Therefore family is a lot bigger than American families.

Since families are united mainly by spiritual, religious and psychological bonds, parent-child relationships tend to be very strong in India. Children and their parents interact more with a lot of contact between them. However, in the U.S things are different. There is minimal contact between the children and their parents. This makes it hard for a child to interact with their parent and vice versa (Noronha, 2010).

In the U.S we find that husband-wife relationships are based on equality. Nowadays both the husband and the wife go to work and later on share house chores and take care of the children together. The husband has no qualms about changing the baby’s napkin and the wife knows how to change the bulb. However, in India, things are way different. The relationship between the husband and the wife is not equal. The husband is considered to be superior over the wife. The wife is also expected to stay at home and take care of the children. Women do not drive for this is a job considered to be for men. The relationship is also not based on friendship and equal partnership. So house chores are not equally shared (VED, 2004).

There are several challenges that face both societies in their different organizations. For instance, the dissociation between children and parents in the U.S has led to increase in the number of children joining juvenile jails. This has created a social problem with increase in theft, and children gangs that terrorize people.

In India, there has been lack of empowerment of women. This activity has been politicized as eroding the culture of the Hindus since their culture dictates that the woman shall always subordinate the man. However, this trend is being eroded by modern world where a woman is encouraged to pursue her dream and career.

The definition of family in India means accommodation of many people in one house. This has not only increased carbon footprint but also become problematic especially due to the impact of climate change. It has become increasingly difficult to feed large families especially in an environment where there are few working people and many dependants. There is therefore need to reduce the large families.

In the U.S people have become self-centered and only think of their nuclear families. This is because family definition only captures a small number of people. In case of disasters, people are not able to bounce back to their initial economic and social positions because there is a disrupted social fabric where everyone cares for themselves and their small families.

The role of the family in India is to hold its members together in union with their religion and culture. In India, taking care of family is an end itself. However, in the U.S, family affection is valued insofar as there is increase and maintenance of material possessions. Therefore, the role of the family is to enhance property creation (Marrow, 2008).


Mahanta, K. (2008). North-East India: The Horizon Of Anthropology. India. Gyan Publishing


Marrow, J. (2008). Psychiatry, Modernity and Family Values: Clenched Teeth Illness in North

India. India. ProQuest.

Noronha, F. (2010). Private international law in India: adequacy of principles in comparison

with common law and civil law systems. India. Universal Law Publishing.

Strong, B & Cohen, T. (2013). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in

a Changing Society. U.S.A. Cengage Learning.


U.S.A. Victoria Institutions.

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