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TITLE: EVOLUTION OF THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION OF FAMILY:

CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES AND RELEVANCE

The world has changed because you have changed; everyone has changed; change is a
constant dynamic that inspires the world to adapt to its conformity.
Wayne Chirisa

Abstract:
Family as a universal social institution has survived through the ages because of a number of
essential social functions that it fulfils. From regulating sexual tensions, to providing for child
rearing and socialization, family has helped for the survival and continuation of society.
The definition of family has evolved over the years and encompasses other social
phenomenon. Social changes together with the reorientation of social values, has led to the
gradual metamorphosis of this institution. Industrialization and globalisation had a major
impact on the socio-economic conditions, which led to a structural change in the traditional
familial setup in India. Further, legal reforms too have paved way for the acceptability of
progressive ideals in a conservative Indian society.
The paper will discuss the nature of the institution of family and its development over the
years. In the backdrop of contemporary challenges and paradigm shifts in the societal set up,
the author intends to analyze the position and relevance of family in India as compared to
other parts of the world. The paper talks about the gradual transition of the structure of Indian
families from joint to nuclear, and the rise in divorce rate in India. The paper will throw light
on the emergence of social issues that were considered taboo earlier but have now come to
impact the familial set up creating a visible gap between the traditional Indian family and the
modern Indian family.

Key Words: Social Change, Social Institutions, Family