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The family has been defined as a social group characterized by common residence economic cooperation and reproduction It includes members of opposite sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children owned or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults George Murdock nd The contemporary West Indian family differs significantly from Murdocks definition and it is controversial to find an exact meaning of the West Indian family Even thought the nuclear family type explained by Murdock exists in the West Indies there is also in existence the extended family and the matrifocal family The extended family comprises of a grouping broader than the nuclear family which is related by descent marriage or adoption and includes members such as grandparents aunts and cousins The matrifocal family is the most prevalent family type when referring to the West Indies it is a single parent family and in this family setting the role of the father is inconsequential and the mother is the dominant figure But however the composition or structure the contemporary West Indian family faces many challenges some of these challenges are industrialization westernization education and social mobility single parenting lack of religious values and divorce The West Indies is primarily Third world countries seeking to develop to standards of other countries classified as First World and to achieve this they have sought to industrialize especially the larger countries such as Trinidad Guyana and Jamaica With industrialization there is a breaking up of the traditional extended family This is seen especially in Jamaica where there is a movement away from the rural areas to urban settings In these urban settings the organization of the family is affected both its structure from a traditional family to a setting that is seregrated This is largely due to unsanitary conditions cramped housing and povertyBasil 1953 Poverty in it self is hard on the contemporary West Indian family without income or
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