Relations between a man and a woman, parents and children depend not only on their desires and attitudes, but also on social norms. For a long time, the patriarchal family was the only way to organize life. Based on the supremacy of men, it helped to survive and continue their kind.
What is a patriarchal family?
The cell of this type of society includes at least 3 generations of people living under one roof. The patriarchal family is a union consisting of several people, held together by family ties, where the main position is occupied by the husband and father. This way of life is characterized by the complete dependence of all other members on the decision of the leader. In a patriarchal family, a man not only disposes of all property, but is also responsible for his wife and children.
When did the patriarchal family appear?
In Russia, the traditional relationship between husband and wife became widespread with the advent of Christianity. The patriarchal structure of the family was largely due to religious norms and the function of a man as the main breadwinner. For many centuries, this form of relationship was the only way to organize life. Now the patriarchal family is distributed mainly in countries with a traditional economic structure, where physical labor prevails.
Features of the patriarchal family
The traditional type of family and household relations is characterized by the presence of several distinctive features. To understand what a patriarchal family is, you need to know its features and the nature of the interaction between spouses and children. The most important distinguishing feature is the leading position of a man in all matters relating to home and life. The characteristic of the patriarchal family includes several more features that determine its structure.
Signs of a patriarchal family
The main distinguishing characteristics are:
- Patrilineality. The transfer of all property, titles, titles occurs only through the male line.
- Absolute power and responsibility of the father. The head of a patriarchal family not only disposes of all property, but is also responsible for the life and health of his wife, children and other relatives.
- Large families. The features of a patriarchal family necessarily include the presence of spouses with more than one child. A woman devotes herself entirely to the birth and upbringing of children. Patriarchy in the family contributes to the fact that the child becomes independent early and is accustomed to housework.
- Another sign is the living of several generations of people under one roof. At the same time, the father is the head of the family and the oldest man in the family.
- The wife, children and other younger members of the family must unquestioningly obey the head and fulfill all his requirements. The power of the older man is not discussed and is accepted unconditionally.
- The patriarchal family is characterized by religiosity and strict adherence to the canons.
- The head of the family must fully provide all members with food, clothing and other necessary benefits.
- All property belongs to the man. A woman cannot have ownership of a house or land.
Patriarchal family — pros and cons
The traditional way has several advantages over other types of relationships:
- stability and security. The head of a patriarchal family not only decides all issues, but is also responsible for the health and condition of his wife and children.
- Clear division of responsibilities. Each member of the patriarchal family has its own area of responsibility.
- Family resilience. The patriarchal way of life is characterized by long-term relationships without divorce.
- Caring for children and the elderly. In a patriarchal family, the role of the older generation, which enjoys respect and privileges, is very important.
For a long time, the patriarchal family was the only way to survive in a difficult situation. This way of life has significant disadvantages that make it almost irrelevant at the present time:
- Addiction. All family members must obey the decisions of the older man. Wife and children do not have the right to independently manage property and finances, choose the scope of activities and ways of spending leisure time.
- Difficulties with self-realization. Since all decisions are made by the head of the family, the wife and children have no opportunity to choose education, career and occupation to their liking.
- Generation conflict. In a patriarchal family, there is often a discrepancy between the wishes of the father and the children.
Problems of the patriarchal family
The traditional way of relations has successfully existed for more than one hundred years. Among what is typical for a patriarchal family, there are a number of problems that have become especially relevant today:
- Discrimination against younger family members. Due to the fact that the older man plays the main role, women and children do not have a voice and the ability to independently manage their lives.
- High demands on a man. He must be both the breadwinner, and the breadwinner, and the protector of all family members. The patriarchal model requires a man to follow certain rules and imposes many responsibilities.
- Inconsistency with modern conditions. Advances in technology and urbanization have made it possible for women to spend less time on housework and childcare. At the same time, the ability of men to support and provide for a large family on their own has decreased. Because of this, the classical patriarchal model of relationships is increasingly becoming unviable.
What is the difference between a patriarchal family and a partner family?
The two relationship models have several differences:
- The traditional patriarchal family assumes the headship of a man. In the partnership, all issues are resolved jointly.
- A patriarchal family cannot do without children. Partnership does not imply the mandatory presence of a child.
- In a patriarchal family, there is a clear division of responsibilities. In a partnership relationship model, the distribution can be blurred. Separate duties, such as cooking, can be performed by both husband and wife.
- It is uncharacteristic for a partner family to live together for 3 or more generations.
Types of patriarchal family
Depending on the features, two types of traditional relations are distinguished:
- The patriarchal model of the family, which is based on respect. The wife and children obey the father because they recognize his strength and authority. The head of the family wins trust not by force, but by wisdom and a fair approach to organizing life. In this model, a woman often has the right to express her position on certain issues.
- The patriarchal family, which is based on strength. The older male keeps all the other members in subjection by physical means. Tyranny and despotism often flourish in such a family.
Why is the traditional patriarchal family becoming a thing of the past?
The primacy of the older male was beneficial at a certain historical stage. When the survival of the whole family required considerable effort and hard physical labor, the patriarchal model of relationships was the only way to ensure well-being. The transition to the modern partner family occurred with the development of the economy and industrialization. A huge role in this process was played by the ability of women to work and provide for themselves.
Remembering what a patriarchal family means, it should be noted that it was needed not only for reproduction, but also to meet the needs of all its members. With the decrease in the importance of physical labor and the transition to an industrial economy, it became possible to support and provide for oneself alone. The patriarchal family has ceased to be the only way to survive, so its values are gradually becoming a thing of the past, leaving room for more modern models of relationships.
Films about the patriarchal family
Since the traditional way of relations was the most common for a long time, it was also reflected in cinema. The patriarchal type of family can be seen in the following films:
- “Thunderstorm”. The film is based on the play of the same name by A.N. Ostrovsky and talks about the problems and conflict situations in the patriarchal family of the XIX century.
- “Women’s Source”. The film shows the atmosphere and lifestyle of several patriarchal subsistence families in a small village in the Middle East.
- “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”. The film is based on the essay by N.S. Leskov and talks about the life of a merchant patriarchal family.