Household and Family Structure in Bay, Laguna and Its Implications for Social Mobility

by Patricio Briones Mariano, Master of Arts in Demography (1970)

The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not the existing family and household structures in the Philippine rural society exerts decisive influence on the social mobility of individuals or their families. Stated in more precise terms, the question investigated is: Does upward social mobility take place in rural Philippine society and if so, is this mobility related to changes in the social structure of household or families? To detect such changes, comparisons were made between households or families of the parental and filial generations, or whenever data would not permit this, between older and younger households. Education of household heads, their occupations as well as household income serve as yardsticks for the measurement of social mobility. Family and household structure was assessed in terms of household type, household size, decision-making and sources of assistance in times of family crises.

The data on which this study ids based were collected in Bay, Laguna, by the writer and a fellow-student using questionnaires formulated by the Population Institute and the Bureau of the Census and Statistics for the 1968 National Demographic Survey.

The finding of this study shows that household and family structure is a factor in social change but in the opposite direction as generally assumed. Social mobility in industrialized countries is associated with small and nuclear families. Family bonds are not so tight making spatial mobility, hence social mobility easier to effect. The situation in Bay is the reverse. Although households in Bay are mostly composed of nuclear families, the extended family type; and large household size are the features of the high income households than among the lower income ones. The more affluent young turn to relatives more than their poor counterparts. In other words, the rich young have rich relatives they can rely for assistance, whereas the poor have their poor relatives. Thus, in Bay, wealth and status are inherited rather than achieved.