ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
2227-202X (Online)
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An Exploratory Study on the Influence of Globalization on the Modern Sri Lankan Family unit: The Evolution of the Extended Family
M.A.C.G Wijesundara

The influence of an ever-evolving society extends to every aspect of everyday life. Including that of familial relationships and dynamics. Likewise, the basic social institution of a family unit in turn has a significant influence on society at large. The definition of family has changed significantly over several decades of society evolving in its march towards a more diverse future. 

Though seemingly having the common ambition of a more accepting and progressive society, radically different outcomes are to be expected depending on the cultural context of each family. The aim of this study is to understand and bring awareness to how globalization has impacted the familial structure in Sri Lanka. The study will discuss and analyze the impact of global factors on the modern Sri Lankan family unit as well as the subsequent influence on the dynamics within said family units, using a sociological and theoretical framework. The study will also explore how this modern family unit withstands or yields to said changes, pressures and challenges, the pressure on the concept of the ‘extended family’ and what it means to the future of Sri Lankan society.

Through this research, I will illustrate the geographical, community and cultural context, local family dynamics as well as the complexities societal globalization presents within Sri Lanka. The survey research was conducted using the systematic random sampling method. Questionnaires, interviews and simple observations were utilized for data collection. This field survey was conducted in the southern province, Matara district, within three divisional secretaries in five grama niladhari divisions. The sample of three hundred respondents is inclusive of representations from the urban, rural and tea plantation sectors of above mentioned five grama niladhari sectors. The primary objective of this study is to analyze the changes global factors have on the Sri Lankan family unit and the challenges of maintaining extended families in a rapidly changing society. Through my research findings I will answer the questions “what are the recent changes in the Sri Lankan family structure” and “does the Sri Lankan extended family collapse or adapt to global factors”

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