Anthropology Essay, Research Paper
March 7, 2000
Video Reaction Paper
Due: March 10, 2000
In the film, Dadi?s Family, a group lived in Haryana in northern India. This was a system that was a matrilineage society and it is bases on the mother-in-law. The mother-in law was the head of the household and ran almost everything, from managing the finances to taking care of the children, the mother-in-law held the power in the family. The nuclear family all stayed in one household with some exceptions. In the old traditions the family was together in whatever they did, but a big idea that was stressed in the video was that things around the village and community was changing from the old ways. In the past, the system in which Dadi?s family lived was very stable, but now it wouldn?t be uncommon for a son or daughter to move out of the house to start her own family. Dadi also stressed the fact that in the past, if they didn?t do what their mother-in-law had told them they would physically get beaten. In today?s society it is pretty standard for the daughter-in-law to show resistance towards her husband?s mother.
There are many of these problems within Dadi?s family. The first problem was with Meherlal?s wife Darshini. Darshini was the eldest daughter-in-law and with that came certain responsibilities, which Darshini felt to burdensome. Because of this, she was in constant conflict with Dadi and wanted to move away from the family. Another problem within the house and also without was the fact that Rajinder, the youngest son, didn?t help with any of the chores because he lived in the city and went to college. All of these problems depicted how things were changing away from the traditional matrilineage system that Dadi was used to.
The film showed the idea of kinship. Kinship is a network of social relations through which people organize their social lives. This definition is generally perceived and naturalized as geneology connections that provide a person?s right in a family. The whole film is showing how this kinship is related to the person?s position within the household. The expression of the woman?s power is also shown within Dadi?s family. As a wife, Dadi has obligations to take care and provide for her children and to her husband. Due to this, the mother or mother-in-law usually knows everything that is going on within the household. This idea gives her a sense of power and control over the decision-making process.
Historically, this society has gone through many changes about the way they feel about family and who stays in control. The nuclear family seems to be falling apart in some respects due to the hostility towards Dadi and her traditional beliefs of how a household works. On the other hand, Sita, Mohindir?s wife, stated that if she would to leave the house, her and her family would be have more work to do than they already have to do currently. This attitude I believe is what keeps the family together. If the family would split up, the workload of each individual would be that much greater than if they came together as a nuclear family and shared all of the duties and chores.