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Volume :3 Issue : 10 1977      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

CHANGING PATTERN OF THE IRANIAN FAMILY STRUCTURE

Auther : Dr. Jamshid A. Memeni

 

         This article mainly deals with the changing pattern of the Iranian Family structure, which is an apparent phenomenon in the social life of modern societies.  The Iranian family is undergoing basic transformation as a result of the Process of industrialization, westernization, urbanization and modernization.  The said processes lead to the decline of the extended family and emergence of the detached nuclear family as the most common form of family life.

           The writer states that the most important transformation has been the separation of the economic and educational functions of the family, which are now being performed by the factories and schools respectively.

           The writer begins his analysis of the basic changes in the Iranian family system in recent years by examining the household composition of Iran, which is divided into two categories the “western household” composed of less than five members, and the “early western household” composed of more than five members.  According to this analysis the writer indicates that the average household size in Iran is expected to be five or larger than five.

           He also uses three sets of data in his analysis to assist him in giving a clear picture about the household composition.  These are the 1956 census data relative to household composition, other statistics and available documents especially in the area of legislation affecting the family and the data on kinship gathered in two villages west of the city of Shiraz.

           The writer attributes the emergence of the nuclear family to the following factors:

1.     Demographic development.

2.     Overcrowding and increased cost of living.

3.     Government actions and procedures that lead to changes in the family structure which are: 

a.     Amendments of laws.

b.     Changes in the age of marriage

c.      Outlawing polygamy

d.     Outlawing the unilateral divorce

e.      Granting the right for women to work.

4.     Women’s role in Labor Force.

5.     Change of social status of women.

6.     The new Generational conflict.

7.     Family and industrialization.

8.     Urbanization.

9.     Changing sex role

10.   Westernization and Modernization, and

11.   Increased level of education,

         Finally, the writer discusses briefly an empirical indicator of the changing family structure.  In this case it is used because the change of family norms and ideals cannot be measured directly.  Thus the type of housing units may serve this purpose, e.g. large houses indicate extended family ideals and apartment living may be used as an indicator of the nuclear family norms.

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