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Behind the banner of culture? Gender, ‘race,’ and the family in Guyana

Keywords: Caribbean , Guyana , family , women , social history , East Indians

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Abstract:

Suggests that the family plays a role in the production of gendered and racialized differences in the Caribbean. Author focuses especially on Guyana, and the differences between Afro- and Indo-Guyanese. First, she revisits earlier scholarly works on the Caribbean family, limited to domesticity and feminist responses. She stresses that representations of the Caribbean family serve(d) the imperatives of governance, and the social stratification, from colonial times to the present. She indicates how the Indo-Caribbean women as submissive housewives thus became opposed to the image of the Afro-Caribbean women as working matriarchs. She further discusses the historic development of the family and women's role therein among Indians in Guyana since indentureship, highlighting the strong influence of colonial manipulation.

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