Family in the Caribbean provides a comprehensive review of the extensive literature on family, household and conjugal unions in the Caribbean. The book is constructed around six themes prominent in Caribbean family studies, namely definitions of the family, plural and creole society, social structure, gender roles and relationships, methodology, history and social change.
Part I critically assesses theoretical trends and interpretations from the perspectives of African heritage, colonial social welfare, structural functionalism, adaptive responses to poverty and kinship ideology and practice. Concepts such as matrifocality, male marginality, female headed household and kinship network are examined.
Part II reviews substantive topics of slave family structure, East Indian family patterns, childhood socialisation and social policy.
An added feature is the inclusion of selected readings from works by the main contributors to Caribbean family theory which provide a handy reference for readers. These readings are conveniently placed at the end of each section.
The author’s objective is to pave the way for future investigations which study Caribbean families in their own right, and in the process help to bury the ethnocentric images of deviant and disorganised families.