Friday, April 30, 2010



Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture and Planning
NED University of Engineering and Technology


Family denotes "a group of people or animals affiliated by consanguinity, affinity or co-residence". The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out". The household is the basic unit of analysis in many social, microeconomic and government models. The term refers to "all individuals who live in the same dwelling". In economics, a household is a person or a group of people living in the same residence. A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. In the following these concepts shall be further elaborated.

One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons—biologically and socially.Thus, one's experience of one's family shifts over time. From the perspective of children, the family is a family of orientation. From the point of view of the parents, the family is a family of procreation, the goal of which is to produce and enculturate and socialize children. However, producing children is not the only function of the family; in societies with a division of labor the resulting relationship between two people, is necessary for the formation of an economically productive household.

A conjugal family includes only the husband, the wife, and unmarried children who are not of age. The most common form of this family is regularly referred to in sociology as a nuclear family.

A consanguineal family consists of a parent and his or her children, and other people.

A matrilocal family consists of a mother and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption of children is a practice in nearly every society. This kind of family is common where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.

Members of the nuclear family use descriptive kinship terms such as:
Mother: a female parent
Father: a male parent
Son: a male child of the parent(s)
Daughter: a female child of the parent(s)
Brother: a male child of the same parent(s)
Sister: a female child of the same parent(s)
Grandfather: father of a father or mother
Grandmother: mother of a mother or father
Cousin: two people that share the same Grandparent(s)
Granddaughter: a child's daughter
Grandson: a child's son
Uncle: father's brother, mother's brother, father's/mother's sister's husband
Aunt: father's sister, mother's sister, father's/mother's brother's wife
Nephew: sister's son, brother's son, wife's brother's son, wife's sister's son, husband's brother's son, husband's sister's son
Niece: sister's daughter, brother's daughter, wife's brother's daughter, wife's sister's daughter, husband's brother's daughter, husband's sister's daughter

Anthropologists have often supposed that the family in a traditional society forms the primary economic unit. This economic role has gradually diminished in modern times, and in societies like the United States it has become much smaller — except in certain sectors such as agriculture and in a few upper class families. In China the family as an economic unit still plays a strong role in the countryside. However, the relations between the economic role of the family, its socio-economic mode of production and cultural values remain highly complex.

The family structures or its internal relationships may affect both state and religious institutions. For instance in societies where royal families or dynasties rule the country or state the political powers always remained within the royal family members. Other than royal family the rulers are not accepted wholeheartedly by the common people. The royal family's influence always remains untill a society has a revolution that destroys the power of royal families and dynasties. Often marriages takes place for economic or political gain within societies.

Contemporary society generally views family as a haven from the world, supplying absolute fulfillment. The family is considered to encourage "intimacy, love and trust where individuals may escape the competition of dehumanizing forces in modern society from the rough and tumble industrialized world, and as a place where warmth, tenderness and understanding can be expected from a loving mother, and protection from the world can be expected from the father. To many, the ideal of personal or family fulfillment has replaced protection as the major role of the family. The family now supplies what is “vitally needed but missing from other social arrangements”.

Social conservatives often express concern over a purported decay of the family and see this as a sign of the crumbling of contemporary society. They feel that the family structures of the past were superior to those today and believe that families were more stable and happier at a time when they did not have to contend with problems such as illegitimate children and divorce. Others dispute this theory, claiming “there is no golden age of the family gleaming at us in the far back historical past”. Still others argue that whether or not we view the family as "declining" depends on our definition of "family." The high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births indicate a decline in the institution of the family. No longer are marriages arranged for political or economic gain, and children are not expected to contribute to family income. Instead, people choose mates based on love. This increased role of love indicates a societal shift toward favoring emotional fulfillment and relationships within a family, and this shift necessarily weakens the institution of the family.

A very common family model in the western societies, is of the family triangle i.e. husband-wife-children isolated from the outside. Many philosophers and psychiatrists analyzed such a model. In the family, they argue, the young develop in a perverse relationship, wherein they learn to love the same person that beats and oppresses them. The family therefore constitutes the first cell of the fascist society, as they will carry this attitude of love for oppressive figures in their adult life. Kindship and family forms have often been considered as impacting the social relations in the society as a whole, and therefore been described as the first cell or the building social unit of the structure of a society. Some argue the family institution conflicts with human nature and human primitive desires, and that one of its core functions is performing a suppression of instincts, a repression of desire commencing with the earliest age of the child. As the young undergoes physical and psychic repression from someone they develop love for, they develop a loving attitude towards authority figures. They will bring such attitude in their adult life, when they will desire social repression and will form docile subjects for society.

The Family Equality Council envisions a future where all families, regardless of creation or composition, will be able to live in communities that recognize, respect, protect, and celebrate them. The organization envisions a world that celebrates a diversity of family constellations and respects individuals for supporting one another and sustaining loving families.

Natalism is the belief that human reproduction is the basis for individual existence, and therefore promotes having large families. Many religions, e.g., Judaism, encourage their followers to procreate and have many children. In recent times, however, there has been an increasing amount of family planning and a following decrease in total fertility rate in many parts of the world, in part due to concerns of overpopulation. Many countries with population decline offer incentives for people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations. Whereas; in such societies like Chinese has the policy of one child in a family can be viewed as a benifit to whole humanity because the resources of the world are limited and population control is necessary for sustainability.

The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family". The household is the basic unit of analysis in many social, microeconomic and government models. The term refers to all individuals who live in the same dwelling. In economics, a household is a person or a group of people living in the same residence. Most economic models do not address whether the members of a household are a family in the traditional sense. Government and policy discussions often treat the terms household and family as synonymous, especially in western societies where the nuclear family has become the most common family structure. In reality, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between households and families.

For statistical purposes in the United Kingdom, a household is defined as "one person or a group of people who have the accommodation as their only or main residence and for a group, either share at least one meal a day or share the living accommodation, that is, a living room or sitting room". The United States Census definition similarly turns on "separate living quarters", i.e. "those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building". A householder in the U.S. census is the "person (or one of the people) in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented (maintained);" if no person qualifies, any adult resident of a housing unit is a householder.

"A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit. A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements. (People not living in households are classified as living in group quarters.)"


Most economic theories assume there is only one income stream to a household; this a useful simplification for modeling, but does not necessarily reflect reality. Many households now include multiple income-earning members.

In Social Work the household is a residential grouping defined similarly to the above in which housework is divided and performed by householders. Care may be delivered by one householder to another, depending upon their respective needs, abilities, and perhaps disabilities. Different household compositions may lead to differential life & health expectations & outcomes for household members. Eligibility for certain community services and welfare benefits may depend upon household composition.

In Sociology 'household work strategy', a term coined by Ray Pahl, is the division of labour between members of a household, whether implicit or the result of explicit decision–making, with the alternatives weighed up in a simplified type of cost-benefit analysis. It is a plan for the relative deployment of household members' time between the three domains of employment:

i) In the market economy, including home-based self-employment second jobs, in order to obtain money to buy goods and services in the market;

ii) Domestic production work, such as cultivating a vegetable patch or raising chickens, purely to supply food to the household; and

iii) Domestic consumption work to provide goods and services directly within the household, such as cooking meals, child–care, household repairs, or the manufacture of clothes and gifts.

Household work strategies may vary over the life-cycle, as household members age, or with the economic environment; they may be imposed by one person or be decided collectively.

It include the family and varieties of blended families, share housing, and group homes for people with support needs. Other models of living situations which may meet definitions of a household include boarding houses, a house in multiple occupation (UK), and a single room occupancy (US). In feudal or aristocratic societies, a household may include servants or retainers, whether or not they are explicitly so named. Their roles may blur the line between a family member and an employee. In such cases, they ultimately derive their income from the household's principal income.

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if actual lineage patterns are unknown, clan members may nonetheless recognize a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be merely symbolical in nature, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan's unity. When this ancestor is not human, it is referred to as an animalian totem. Clans can be most easily described as tribes or sub-groups of tribes. The word clan is derived from 'clann' meaning 'children' in the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages. The word was taken into English about 1425 as a label for the tribal nature of Irish and Scottish Gaelic society. Clans are located in every country; members may identify with a coat of arms to show they are an independent clan.

Some clans are patrilineal, meaning its members are related through the male line; for example, the clans of Armenia. Others are matrilineal; its members are related through the female line, such as in some Native American clans. Still other clans are bilateral, consisting of all the descendants of the apical ancestor through both the male and female lines; the Irish and Scottish clans are examples. Whether a clan is patrilineal, matrilineal, or bilateral depends on the kinship rules and norms of their society.

In different cultures and situations, a clan may mean the same thing as other kin-based groups, such as tribes and bands. Often, the distinguishing factor is that a clan is a smaller part of a larger society such as a tribe, a chiefdom, or a state. Examples include Scottish, Irish, Chinese, Japanese clans and Rajput clans in India and Pakistan, which exist as kin groups within their respective nations. Apart from these different traditions of kinship, further conceptual confusion arises from colloquial usages of the term.
In post-Soviet countries, for example, it is quite common to speak of clans in reference to informal networks within the economic and political sphere. This usage reflects the assumption that their members act towards each other in a particularly close and mutually supportive way approximating the solidarity among kinsmen. Polish clans differ from most others as they are a collection of families who bear the same coat of arms, as opposed to claiming a common descent. Clans in indigenous societies are likely to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. In some societies, clans may have an official leader such as a chieftain or patriarch; in others, leadership positions may have to be achieved, or people may say that 'elders' make decisions.

Arab Tribes, Armenian clans, Chechen clans, Chinese clan with family name and consort clans, Chinese (Hong Kong) five Great Han Chinese Punti clans: Tang, Hau, Pang, Man, Liu, Germanic clans, Indian subcontinent: Gakhar clans, Gujjar clans, Jat clans, List of Khatri clans: Khatri clans, Maratha clans, Mukkulathor clan, Vellalar clan, Rajput clans, Tarkhan clans, Yadav clan, Iranian clans, Irish clans and septs, Israelites, Japanese clans, Korean clans and names, Manchu clans and names, Norse clans, Polish clans, Scottish clans, Armigerous clan, Scottish clan chief, Serb clans, Somali clans, Turkish clans.
1. (retrieved 11/01/2010)
2. (retrieved 11/01/2010)
3. Haviland, W.A. (2003) Anthropology Wadsworth: Belmont, CA
4. Sullivan, arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 29 ISBN 0-13-063085-3
5. (retrieved 11/01/2010)





Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture and Planning
NED University of Engineering and Technology


Urban means "related to cities". AN URBAN AREA is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets. Rural areas referred to as "the country sides" are large and isolated areas of a country, often with low population density. Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization. Measuring the extent of an urban area helps in analyzing population density and urban sprawl, and in determining urban and rural populations. Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market. In fact, urbanized areas agglomerate and grow as the core population/economic activity center within a larger metropolitan area or envelope. Metropolitan areas tend to be defined using counties or county sized political units as building blocks. Counties tend to be stable political boundaries; economists prefer to work with economic and social statistics based on metropolitan areas. Urbanized areas are a more relevant statistic for determining per capita land usage and densities.

The definitions of urban areas vary somewhat amongst different nations. European countries define urbanized areas on the basis of urban-type land use, not allowing any gaps of typically more than 200 meters, and use satellite photos instead of census blocks to determine the boundaries of the urban area. In less developed countries, in addition to land use and density requirements, a requirement that a large majority of the population, typically 75%, is not engaged in agriculture and/or fishing is sometimes used. Similarly; population number and characteristics are also used to define an urban area.

In Australia, urban areas are referred to as "urban centres" and are defined as population clusters of 1000 or more people, with a density of 200 or more persons per square kilometre.

In Canada, an urban area is an area that has more than 400 people per square kilometre and has more than 1,000 people. If two or more urban areas are within two kilometres of each other, they are merged into a single urban area. The boundaries of an urban area are not influenced by municipal or even provincial boundaries.

In China, an urban area is an urban district, city and town with a population density higher than 1,500 persons per square kilometre. As for urban districts with a population density lower than 1,500 persons per square kilometre, only the population that lives in streets, town sites, and adjacent villages is counted as urban population.

In France, an urban area is a zone encompassing an area of built-up growth (called an "urban unit" and its commuter belt. 

In Japan urbanized areas are defined as contiguous areas of densely inhabited districts (DIDs) using census enumeration districts as units with a density requirement of 4,000 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,000 /sq mi).

New Zealand:
Statistics New Zealand defines New Zealand urban areas for statistical purposes as a settlement with a population of a thousand people or more.

Statistics Norway defines urban areas similarly to the other Nordic countries. Unlike in Denmark and Sweden, the distance between each building has to be of less than 50 meters, although exceptions are made due to parks, industrial areas, rivers, and similar. Groups of houses less than 400 metres from the main body of an urban area are included in the urban area.

In Poland, official "urban" population figures simply refer to those localities which have the status of towns. The "rural" population is that of all areas outside the boundaries of these towns. This distinction may give a misleading impression in some cases, since some localities with only village status may have acquired larger and denser populations than many smaller towns.

Urban areas in Sweden are statistically defined localities, totally independent of the administrative subdivision of the country. There are 1,940 such localities in Sweden, with a population ranging from 200 to 1,252,000 inhabitants.

England and Wales:
The United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics produced census results from urban areas since 1951, since 1981 based upon the extent of irreversible urban development indicated on Ordnance Survey maps. The definition is an extent of at least 20 hectares and at least 1,500 census residents. Separate areas are linked if less than 200 metres apart. Included are transportation features.

United States:
In the United States there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. There are 1,371 urban areas and urban clusters with more than 10,000 people. The U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area as: "Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile (386 per square kilometer) and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile (193 per square kilometer)." The largest urban area in the United States is that of New York City, with its city proper population exceeding 8 million and its metropolitan area population almost 19 million. The next four largest urban areas in the U.S. are those of Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia. About 70 percent of the population of the United States lives within the boundaries of urbanized area (210 out of 300 million). Combined, these areas occupy about 2 percent of the United States. The majority of urbanized area residents are suburbanites; core central city residents make up about 30 percent of the urbanized area population (about 60 out of 210 million).

Rural areas are large and isolated areas of an open country (in reference to open fields and not forests, etc.), often with low population density. The terms "countryside" and "rural areas" are not synonyms: a "countryside" refers to rural areas that are open. A forest, wetlands, etc. with a low population density is not a countryside. About 91 percent of the rural population now earn salaried incomes, often in urban areas. The 10 percent who still produce resources generate 20 percent of the world’s coal, copper, and oil; 10 percent of its wheat, 20 percent of its meat, and 50 percent of its corn. The efficiency of these farms is due in large part to the commercialization of the farming industry, and not single family operations. Today, 75 percent of the United States' inhabitants live in suburban and urban areas, but cities occupy only 2 percent of the country. Rural areas occupy the remaining 98 percent. United States Census Bureau definitions, which are based on population density, defines rural areas as all territory outside of urbanized areas and urban clusters. Thus, rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents; areas designated as rural can have population densities as high as 999 per square mile or as low as 1 person per square mile.

In generic terms there are six major differences betwen an urban area and a rural area i.e. Physical Size, Population Density, Social Characterisitcs, Economic Characteristics and Environmental Characteristics.

i.   Physical Size:
The long distances in urban areas are more common as compare to rural areas. In rural areas virtually all activities takes place in close proximity and at walking distance. Whereas; in urban areas vehicular movement is quite evident by people. 

ii.  Population Density:
The density of population in rual areas is mostly very less than urban areas where large concentrations of population are very much visible.

iv. Social Characteristics:
In rural areas mostly homogenous community is eveident as compare to hetrogeneous communities of urban context. Mostly people know each other very well in villages whereas; in urban areas even one's neighbours are strangers to each other. In rural areas there are usually community feling is very strong and a collective moral behaviour is quite evident. However; in urban areas every one is free in his thoughts, actions and moral behaviour.

v.  Economic Characteristics:
Rural people have mostly agricultural based occupations; while people in urban areas are mostly dependent on trade, commerce and industry.

vi. Environmental Characteristics:
In rural areas the natural environment is dominating as copmare to urban areas where man made environment or built environment is quite evident.

The afforementioned description clearly indicates that; what is mant by an urban area and a rural area.

1. (retrieved 11/01/2010)

2. (retrieved 11/01/2010)
3. (retrieved 11/01/2010)