My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica

My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica

My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica

My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica

Excerpt

M. G. Smith University of California at Los Angeles

This book is one of the fundamental studies of West Indian family and social organization; and it is therefore appropriate on this occasion of its re-issue to review the earlier and recent development of these studies and to assess our present knowledge of West Indian family structure. Perhaps in this way we can best appreciate the significance of this book as a contribution to our knowledge of West Indian society and to the general study of mating and family.

The family life of West Indian 'lower class' Negroes or folk presents a number of equally important academic and practical problems. In this region family life is highly unstable, marriage rates are low, especially during the earlier phases of adult life, and illegitimacy rates have always been high. Many households contain single individuals, while others with female heads consist of women, their children, and/or their grandchildren. The picture is further complicated by variations in the type and local distribution of alternative conjugal forms; and, characteristically, differing communities, social classes and ethnic groups institutionalize differing combinations of them. Excluding legal marriage, mating is brittle, diverse in form and consensual in base among these Creole or Negroid populations. The implications of this mating structure for the composition and stability of familial groups is perhaps most easily appreciated by comparing these Creole patterns with others current among East Indians of comparable socioeconomic position in British Guiana and Trinidad.

Among these local East Indians, men settled in different villages arrange the first union of their children during early adolescence and celebrate these . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.