Michaels, Axel: The “Holy Joint Family” in South Asian Ageing Theories, in Brosius, Christiane und Mandoki, Roberta (Hrsg.): Caring for Old Age: Perspectives from South Asia, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2020 (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality, Band 8), S. 285–304. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.597.c8403

Identifier (Buch)

ISBN 978-3-947732-94-4 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-947732-95-1 (Softcover)
ISBN 978-3-947732-93-7 (PDF)




Axel Michaels

The “Holy Joint Family” in South Asian Ageing Theories

Abstract Recent notions of aging in South Asia often mourn the loss of the ideal of the joint family and the emergence of the nuclear family at the cost of elderly people. However, it can be shown that this ideal is not sustainable any more since historical sources give sufficient evidence for exiling and other maltreatments of old people. It seems that the cohesion and solidarity was not always very strong and that the situation of old peo­ple depended and depends on the interfamilial constellations, gender, so­cial position, and especially on the integration of elderly people into ritual tasks. Examples from contemporary Nepal will illustrate that these factors still matter in traditional Hindu (and Buddhist) environments.

Keywords joint family, nuclear family, exiling old people, āśrama system, vṛddhāśrama, Nepal