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Caribbean Families

Conclusion

As a result of U.S. influence, primarily through the media, the values of Caribbean families are changing. For instance, the nuclear family is now considered the ideal (Dudley-Grant 2001). The Caribbean had been a community where extended family played a significant role. Extended family included not only immediate relatives (e.g., aunts, cousins), but also godparents and neighbors. Children were raised by communities, and children were disciplined by almost any adult member of the community. Children were also more respectful of adults calling them "auntie or uncle" instead of their name. Although this still happens to some degree, the nuclear family remains the site of primary caretaking.

Caribbean families are complex because of their multiple races, traditions, and structures. However, there is considerable unity among Caribbean people. Regardless of their ethnic backgrounds or unique family patterns, they identify themselves as people from the Caribbean and often see their roots as Caribbean. This is clearly seen in the development of practices which are uniquely Caribbean. For instance, in the area of music, the Caribbean is known for its distinctive taste in reggae ( Jamaica), calypso, and chutney (both from Trinidad). There is distinct Caribbean cuisine, including dishes such as ache and saltfish, or callaloo. The motto of the Jamaican people captures, to some extent, the spirit of all Caribbean people: "Out of many, one."

Bibliography

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Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsCaribbean Families - Family Structure, Extended Family, Mate Selection And Marriage, Role Of Religion, Parent-child Relationships