Indian Family Hierarchy

India is a country with a rich cultural diversity and an extensive family system according to which people belonging to a family lives together even after the children grow into adults and get married. Indian families used to live by the joint family system for decades but over the past few years, this system has changed and the concept of nuclear family has become widespread.

One aspect of Indian families which has intrigued people around the world is that there is a hierarchy structure that is followed. According to this structure, the older men of the family have the most power and responsibility than others. Let’s look at the Indian family hierarchy structure in detail:

indian family hierarchyEldest Male

At the top of the family tree of an Indian family is the grandfather or the oldest living member of the family.He/she has the maximum power and takes most of the decisions for the entire family. These decisions are mostly related to financial matters, personal matters, family’s future etc.

Eldest Female

Next to the grandfather comes the grandmother in the hierarchy structure but in some families, even the grandmother doesn’t have that much say or power. It is the grandmother who takes decisions regarding how people should behave and how the daughter in laws must follow social conduct etc.

Eldest Male’s Sons

Next in the family hierarchy tree are the sons of the eldest male. These sons are also subdivided into the hierarchy structure on the basis of their age where the oldest has the maximum power and responsibility.

Eldest Male’s Daughter in Laws

Next in the family tree of an Indian family are the wives of the eldest male’s sons.  Here too, the oldest female holds the maximum say and is the most respected as well. She takes most decisions regarding kitchen matters, day to day spendings of the house etc.

Eldest Male’s Grandsons

In the hierarchy structure of an Indian family, the grandsons of the eldest male come next in line. These boys do not have much say in family and business matters but may help their fathers as they grow up as far as work matters are concerned.

Eldest Male’s Granddaughters

In an Indian family, the granddaughters generally come at the bottom position in the hierarchy and do not have any role in family decisions or financial matters.  With changing times, this trend is changing as daughters are considered equal to sons.