Topics: Sociology, Family, Caribbean Pages: 3 (601 words) Published: May 14, 2013
T. S. Simey and his team in the 1940s described Afro-Caribbean families as dysfunctional. Drawing on the work of Caribbean theorists, evaluate this statement in light of contemporary Caribbean family forms. 

Define family
George Peter Murdock (1949) defined family as “a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction.” According to Murdock, the family includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children, their own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults. Functions of the family

The functions of a family
* Reproduction
* Socialization
* Companionship and gratification

Type of family forms in the Caribbean
* Nuclear
* Extended
* Single
* Matrifocal
How does social Pathology derived and what it is
This perspective, developed in the Caribbean, considers the family within the context social problems. The approach was followed by the West Indian royal commission of 1937 which concluded in its findings that the man in West Indian society was not viewed as the head of the household. It also identified the woman as the supporter of the home and claimed that promiscuity and illegitimacy were prevalent. The problems that derived from social pathology

* Family life was seen as loose and unstable, and relationship appeared to be casual. * Conjugal ties were occasionally faithful and enduring but were more often promiscuous and transitory * The fathers contact with children was irregular and because of poverty he was usually unable to provide economic support * Children were illegitimate effectively fatherless, unschooled and subjected to severe parental disciple * The crisis in Caribbean family life brought with it a range of social problems as result there was weakness in the family

According to Herskovits (1939) and Frazier (1939), the lower class afro Caribbean family was maternal...
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