Sociology –"Dysfunctions in the Family"
The family is one of the oldest social institutions and according to George Peter Murdock (1949), can be defined as ‘a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction.’ Murdock further concludes that in order for a family to become established there must be adults of both sex present, two of whom maintain a sexually approved relationship, and one or more children, their own or adopted. However, Murdock’s definition of the family has been challenged by Kathleen Gough and other sociologists who argue that a family does not always have nor require two adults of the same sex and supported their claims with the Kibbutzim of Israel and the Nayar of Kerala. In the Caribbean there exists a variety of family types: nuclear, extended, single parent, visiting, re-constituted and popularly, the common-law union. Regardless of the family type there are roles to which the family is expected to perform; economic stability (shelter, food, education etc.), socialization (a source of comfort and love, teaching the minor social skill like walking, talking, good manners etc. and on a major scale, the values and norms in society as to what is acceptable and not), reproduction (producing of off springs to carry on the family name and lineage) and lastly, sexual gratification ( this is meant so that adults can control their sex drives also it protects the individuals from STDs). Whenever the family fails to perform any one of these functions the family is termed as dysfunctional. Dysfunctional families in the Caribbean often results in cases of abuse (physically/sexually/mentally), polygamy, infidelity and also through unhealthy parenting styles. Abuse, a major cause of dysfunction in Caribbean Families occurs in the form of disputes, incest, ill treatment, neglect, sibling rivalry and popularly, domestic abuse. Diane Mahabir-Wyatt (Chairperson of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition against...
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