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CAPE 2012 - Module 2 Question 4 The institution of marriage in contemporary Caribbean society is dying.

Discuss the view with reference to THREE sociological explanations of this phenomenon.
This question revolves around the institution of family in the Caribbean and the so called "legal unions". Consider a definition for the family. Perhaps mentioned Murdock, since he is convinced that the nuclear family (that is the legal union) is the ideal family structure in the Caribbean. Consider also a definition of marriage.. Why is marriage no longer prominent in the Caribbean? You could have mentioned: (a) The Effects of Globalization (b) The Changing Roles of Caribbean Women - Women are no longer dependent on men and are now willing to gain education. Marriage is seen as the last steps in their life (c) Secularization in Caribbean society - Consider Wilson's theory of secularization (d) The socio -economic conditions of the Caribbean society (e) The modification of the family in the Caribbean - The Common law union and the visiting union ( R. T Smith can be seen as evidence of nuclear family). (f) The Effects of Plantation Slavery M.G. Smith and Franklin Frazier (g) The Marginalization of Caribbean men - Anderson (2007) - Men are less willing to engage in legal union or appreciate their roles in the home because of their lack of wealth. Oscar Lewis (1965) theory mentioned that Caribbean people of poor socio economic backgrounds are less willing to engage in legal union. (h) The modification of the family in the Caribbean - The Common law union and the visiting union ( R. T Smith can be seen as evidence of nuclear family). (i) The Effects of Plantation Slavery (j) The Marginalization of Caribbean men - Anderson (2007) - Men are less willing to engage in legal union or appreciate their roles in the home because of their lack of wealth.

CAPE 2003 - Module 2 Unit 1 Discuss the extent to which there is fit between the Matrifocal family and Caribbean Society as a whole? (25 marks)

The family is the main agent of socialization. Murdock (1949) noted that a family includes adults of both sexes, at least two of who maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, owned or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults. Though that is true, Caribbean Sociologists such as R.T. Smith and Edith Clarke note a growing level of Matrifocal families within the region. Under such a family the household is female-headed and the authority is in the woman. Males therefore avoid their responsibilities as fathers and conjugal partners. Thus there are no resident husbands, nor are there necessarily long-term sexual encounters. There are many reasons for a fit between the Matrifocal family and Caribbean Society on a whole and this can be traced to historical and contemporary situations. These are discussed below: (a) A Rise in Migration: (b) Choices of Women: (c) African Retention in Men: (d) Plantation System: (e) Economic Factors: (f) The changing roles of women- leads to marginal men as they get confused

CAPE 2005 - Module 2 Unit 1 Analyze the factors responsible for changes and developments in family patterns in any named Caribbean society. (25 marks)
The Caribbean has numerous family forms that are unique to the region. These family forms are grown from our cultures and history such as colonization, slavery and Indentureship. It is evident; however, that contemporary society is seeing much changes and development in these family patterns. What are the factors responsible for such changes in the family forms of the Caribbean? (a) The Rise in Migration: Globalization has a certain effect on the Caribbean region. With improvements in communication and transportation along with the increasing demands of goods and services, migration is becoming an issue as people move away to find better standards of living. For most parts, seasonal and internal migration of men contributes to higher number of single parent families or

female- headed (Matrifocal) households around the region. (b) Economic factors: Industrialization is taking a toll on people. People find it important to live near their jobs and this causes the reconstruction of many family forms as members move away to suit their economic needs e.g. children and relatives moving away from the home thus reducing an extended family to a nuclear family. Economic factors also affect the way people perceive family life. For males, lack of wealth causes marginalization as they are unable to provide for their families and this result in them abandoning their roles in the household. (c) Male Marginalization: Male Marginalization is a growing issue in the Caribbean. Errol Miller (1991) believes that this begins as early as the primary schools and continues to shape how men look at life and family. Some sociologists believe that history can explain this growing trend in male underachievement and marginalization and it all goes down either as retention in our African culture as Hersovikits puts it or it was fashioned from the plantation system as M.G. Smith puts it. Either way, male marginalization affects the development of the family and thus results in a plethora of changes. Single parent and Matrifocal families are of the resultant of this issue. (d) Globalization: Globalization does to some extent affect the changes and development in family patterns in the Caribbean. Globalization brings to us different cultures and influences from more developed countries (especially the United States) and these are adopted by the region. For example, in some countries it is believed that the nuclear family is ideal for an industrial world. It is evident that there is a growing trend in nuclear families throughout the Caribbean region. The National Family Planning board in Jamaica advertises, Plan for two, its the safe thing to do. Globalization of transportation and communication also causes much rise in migration therefore affecting the family structure resulting in much Matrifocal and single parent families. (e) The changing roles if females: Women are abandoning their traditional roles and with the increase in economical and educational opportunities they are acquiring jobs that were once male dominated. Women refuse to bear children because of their careers and with their increasing wealth they refuse to be secondary to men in the family as evident in higher divorce rates thus resulting in single parent and Matrifocal families and thus the further marginalization of men as women are taking over their position in the homes and the workplace.

CAPE 2003 - Unit 1 Module 3 Account for the substantial upward mobility of women and growing marginalization of men in the Caribbean. (25 marks)
Women have always been seen as the weaker sex and history has shown how cruel the workplace can be in stressing that. In the past, females were seen less in the workplace and had taken up traditional roles of mothering and being wives. Men were the dominant figures of society and women were secondary to them. It is evident that during the past, women experienced less upward mobility than men. Some sociologists argue that this was mainly because women were more likely to be downwardly mobile compared with men because of career interruptions (e.g. pregnancy, child-care, being the secondary bread winner). It was concluded that when women did experience upward mobility, it was limited to travelling from skilled manual to skilled non- manual. It is evident, however, that women are experiencing many upward mobility in the Caribbean society and men are growing more marginalized. There are many reasons for this growing trend. First, let us consider the upward mobility of women. As mentioned before, in the past, women were always seen in traditional roles, those were, taking care of their families and the home. Historians William Claypole and John Robottom (2001) noted that in the early 1900s, only a few women were involved in the workplace, but by the late 1900s this was increased significantly where women were even competing with men for male dominated jobs. This upward mobility of women can be accountable for because: (a) Educational Opportunities: There is increase in educational opportunities throughout the Caribbean which can benefit both sexes. With the increase of government involvement in our educational system, growth of scholarships and growth of student loans, education is becoming more available. Though this is true, it still does not account for the upward mobility of women. Educational opportunities only affect women because of the feminization of the educational system. Errol Miller (1991) links education to femininity. In our cultures and during socialization, girls are encouraged to and thus more motivated to take education serious as opposed to boys. Women are therefore more willing to seek educational opportunities and thus there is a significant increase in their upward mobility as opposed to men. (b) Economical Opportunities: With their increase in education, women are now able to compete with men for the same jobs. In most cases, women are able to attain jobs that were once previously dominated by men and this increase in wealth allowed for increase mobility among women. For example, teaching was not always feminine. In the past, the teaching profession was once dominated by men. However, because of little wealth, men started to more away to construction and other fields thus

allowing women to take those positions. (c) The Marginalization of Men: The marginalization of men helped with the upward mobility among women. Men being marginalized means that they dont have the educational standing to compete with women for once male dominated jobs. Women are therefore taking away their positions. It is after all safe to say that increase in female involvement in the workplace causes confusion among the males, thus resulting in greater marginalization of men. Male Marginalization is a growing issue in the Caribbean Society. Men, the once dominant gender, are being outperformed by women in the schools, workplace and the family. Many Caribbean Sociologists offer explanations for the growing marginalization of men. These are discussed below: (a) African Retention: Herskovits (1947) in his text The Myth of the Negro Past links the marginalization of men to African Retention. He sought to explain the promiscuity of Caribbean males to African Polygamy. Polygamy is where one man would have many wives and this was evident in African society. Terming his theory, progressive monogamy he asserts that Caribbean males would have more than one relationship having different households and responsibilities and therefore at the end of the day this would eventually lead to their marginalization because they cannot fulfill their economical and emotional responsibilities to all of them. (b) The Plantation System: M.G Smith and Franklin Frazer have noted that the marginalization of men lies in our history on the Plantation society. On the plantations, males were not allowed to have a stable home as they were constantly rotated and they were not allowed to be fathers to their children. Furthermore, men had no access to resources to care for their families. They felt marginalized. This continues to influence the thoughts of men in the Caribbean society and because of the lack of wealth with the history of the plantation system, they feel marginalized. (c) The School System: Errol Miller (1991) links a level of femininity with the educational system. Men are been out performed by women mainly because there is a lack of masculinity within the profession. Boys are therefore not motivated to work hard in schools because they link education to femininity. Their failure to exceed in schools will ultimately affect the type of jobs they attain and thus continue their marginalization. (d) The changing Roles of Women: Men are threatened because of the changing roles of women. Women are abandoning their traditional roles and entering into the workplace. Men feel marginalized to know that they are now working alongside more women in a once male dominated field e.g. construction, and at times women are in better position than them. Mac An Ghaill (1996) argues that working class men are experiencing crisis of masculinity. Their socialization into traditional masculine identity has been undermined by the decline of traditional mens jobs in manufacturing and primary industries such as mining. Mass unemployment found in working class areas means that men are no longer sure about their future role as men.

CAPE 2004 - Unit 1 - M3 During slavery and colonialism, status in Caribbean society was largely ascribed. Explain why status determination is based more on achievement and less ascription in contemporary Caribbean society. (25 marks)
Mustapha (2007) comments on the stratification system of the Caribbean saying; the social structure of the Caribbean has been greatly influenced by the impact of colonialism and its attendant factors. Ascriptive factors such as race and the complexion of ones skin have contributed significantly in determining the life chances peoples.. Today although social mobility is premised upon achieved factors such as education, there are still vestiges of the past and ascriptive factors still continue to play a role. In the past, it was evident that attributes such as race and colour determined a persons social standing in the Caribbean. After colonialism and during our three hundred years of slavery, it was evident that blacks were deemed as inferior to whites, and no slave could have determined his social standing because they were the property of others. Though it is evident that Caribbean people still uses colour and race to stratify its people, for example, white is considered good and black either evil or bad, there are signs of an emerging meritocratic society. In such a society status determination is based more on achievement and less on ascriptive factors. There are many factors accountable for this change in Caribbean society. These reasons are: (a) The emerging of a class system: As the Caribbean region is a replicate of our metropole, we fashion our education, politics and justice system among other things off our European counterparts. As a resultant of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, the class system emerged to distinguish people who share similar economic position such as occupation, income and ownership of wealth. The class system of our metropole had slowly developed in the region. Since the class system is meritocratic, people are not borned into ascribed roles and it offers more avenues for social mobility through education and wealth. (b) Increase in education and economical opportunities: Education and wealth have always been seen as ways of evading the rigid social structures of the Caribbean. During slavery, for instance, the slaves were unable to attain a better social standing because they lacked education and more importantly wealth. With the increases in educational opportunities in society, people have better

chances of attaining jobs thus having economical standings. With the emerging class system, based on meritocratic principles, increase in education and wealth will allow people to look pass ascriptive factors such as colour, race etc. There were therefore increase avenues for social mobility. (c) Self-governance: Since the independence of the Caribbean territories the political systems have been dominated by blacks/coloureds. Having a long system of exploitation, the blacks aim to create equal opportunities for all members of society. Measures were adopted to ensure that the majority of the population was presented with opportunities to experience social mobility and, by extension, enjoy a higher standard of living. Lloyd Braithwaite had noted that society in the Caribbean was largely defined by race and these races especially the Asians (i.e. The Syrians, Indians and Chinese) maintained their status by keeping a relatively closed system except for intermarriage with the white grouping. Selwyn Ryan, 30 years after his theory, notes that Braithwaites system of stratification has virtually disappeared especially with the rise of the Blacks to power e.g. The Jamaica Labour Party in Jamaica or the Peoples National Movement in Trinidad. (d) Acculturation and Inter-culturation: As people coexisted in Caribbean society they started to break down the barriers that set them apart. People started to gravitate to different ethnic groups and over time started merging different cultures e.g. blacks and Indians. In the workplace and schools, acculturation and inter-culturation took its toll. (e) The increase involvement in Religious activities: Christianity continued to dominate the Caribbean society after the emancipation of slaves. As people increased in religious activities (either joining churches, or forming their own sects) they are taught to be tolerant of others, regardless of who they are and what they may look like. As religious groups increase in the Caribbean, people started to disregard the ascriptive factors that had once been used to stratify us. For example, Rastafarianism teaches love and peace. It is evident that Caribbean society is still highly stratified. An individuals colour, gender, and race among other ascriptive factors are still looked upon. However, these are slowly drifting away as society looks more on achievements.

CAPE 2004 - U1 M3 Evaluate on the view that, without social stratification and social mobility, society would collapse. Provide examples or illustrations from the Caribbean to support your answer. (25 marks)
Haralambos and Holborn (2004) defines social stratification as the presence of distinct social groups which are ranked one above the other in terms of factors such as prestige and wealth. Though there are many ascriptive factors on which our society is stratified, the Caribbean region has now created a much opened system which offers social mobility with the increase in education and wealth. Social mobility, according to Mustapha (2007), is the movement, usually of individuals or groups, from one social position to another within the social stratification system in any society. Many sociologists argue on the importance of stratification in society. While some see it as important for the overall well- being of society and argue that without it along with social mobility society would collapse, some see it as a means of inequality and exploitation, and believe that social mobility is simply a myth of meritocracy. Davis and Moore argue that stratification makes a contribution to social order - therefore, class inequality is beneficial, positive and necessary. All societies have to ensure that their most functionally important, i.e. unique, positions are filled with the people who are talented and efficient. Talent and skill, however, are in short supply and top jobs require an intensive amount of training and time to acquire the necessary expertise. Educational qualifications and the stratification system function to allocate all individual to an occupational role that suits their abilities. Stratification encourages all members of society to work to the best of their ability because class societies are meritocracies high rewards in the form of income and status are guaranteed in order to motivate gifted people to make the necessary scarifies in terms of education and training. Inequality also motivates, e.g. those at the top will wish to retain their advantages whilst those placed elsewhere will wish to improve on their position. Caribbean functionalists approved of the arguments proposed by Davis and Moore. They argue that Caribbean people are motivated to work harder with a system of stratification. One illustration offered was the period of Indentureship. When the Indians and Chinese arrived on the

plantation they were viewed as members of the lowest class on the plantation. This stratification motivated them to work harder and by the end of their contracts they were given lands, thus giving them avenues for upward mobility. Davis and Moore suggest that unequal rewards are the product of consensus. They argue that without social stratification and social mobility, society would collapse. It must be noted however, that there exists a substantial level of resentment about the unequal distribution of income and wealth in society. In the Caribbean for instance, slavery was based on a system of social inequality where one group was forced to work for another without pay. It was evident that the slaves had always hated the fact that the planters benefited at their expense and this led to many uprising. This is first hand evidence that stratification is not always positive and beneficial. Marx argued that history is the history of class struggles. Social stratification is therefore a means by which one group is manipulated by another because of the uneven distribution of resources, and power. The dysfunction of stratification is neglected by Davis and Moore. For example, poverty is a major problem for people of the Caribbean and it negatively impacts on mortality, health, education and family life. For the conflict theorists, social stratification is not beneficial or essential for an overall maintenance of society.