Family Institution and Modernization: A Sociological Perspective



Family is the basic unit of a society which is saddled with biological functions such as reproduction, social functions pertaining to nurturing and socialisation of children. Before modernization, families usually consist of several generations and branches of extended family living in the same village. As modernization occurs, young people tend to move away from the village in which they were raised in search of jobs, leaving the older generations behind, they relocate to cities and meet people they probably never would have met had stayed home. The overall effects of modernization on family institution cannot be under-estimated. Modernization is seen to be changing the face of the family structure. The traditional African family which is known to be agrarian, polygamous and extended has undergone changes where nuclear and asymmetrical types have emerged; family support for the elderly is affected by the changes in the family formation, family dynamics, as well as people’s value and their way of life. High degree of physical mobility associated with new job opportunities at urban centres has loosen the phenomenon of face to face relationships and eroded the strength of the family. This study therefore looked at the overall effects of modernization on the traditional African family structure. Data for this study was sourced mainly from the secondary data and other literature on the subject under study.

Keywords: Family, modernization, industrialization, nuclear, extended

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-8-14

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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