The Family as a Capital Asset Cover Image

Porodica kao kapitalno dobro
The Family as a Capital Asset

Author(s): Anđelka Milić
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociološko naučno društvo Srbije
Keywords: extended family; vertical extension; horizontal extension; patriarchy; modernization; blocked and postponed social transformation;

Summary/Abstract: A representative sample survey of families/households in Serbia at the beginning of the third millennium (2003), carried out by the Institute for Sociological Research, has shown the percentage of extended families to be unexpectedly high (30%). Earlier surveys, however, led to the belief that they were almost disappearing as a model and part of the reality of family life. Further analysis of data has convinced us that a revival of a family type, which emerged as a result of the transformation of the traditional zadruga or joint family, is underway. Throughout the socialist period, characterized by the discouragement of agricultural development and industrialization, this family type survived and took the form of a hybrid or mixed household consisting of farmers-workers, which has been on a steady decline since the mid 1960s. In contemporary circumstances, marked by a decade-long social crisis and economic decline, an expansion of the extended family model takes place. It is distinguished by completely new morphological, structural, socioeconomic and functional features, which indicate the existence of strategies applied by individual families with the aim of adapting to the blocked, postponed and belated socioeconomic transformation, namely, avoiding the risks it brings. On the basis of the produced empirical evidence, the existence of two types of extension have been determined: horizontally (lateral descent) and vertically extended family type (blood relationship, patrilinearity). It has also been determined that these two types differ in the ways of their emergence and maintenance, as well as in essential inner relations. Vertically extended families are characterized by the elements of the traditional patriarchal order, while horizontal extension is a result of modernizing trends that have never fully developed (especially as far as the relationship between spouses is concerned).

  • Issue Year: 46/2004
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 227-243
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English