Is a family system that permits freedom to enter, dissolve, and re-enter sexual unions, that tolerates high illegitimacy rates, and allows a large proportion of households to be headed by women, viable, natural and healthy? This is an appropriate question to ask of many modern industrial societies in the 1980s. Yet a system with just those factors has been in place in the West Indies for 150 years. In this book, Raymond T. Smith explores the extensive family and kinship ties of West Indians in Jamaica and Guyana, and in so doing dispels many of the myths that exist about West Indian family life.
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