Guyana is a racially diverse country with people from different racial affiliation such as the Afro-Guyanese and the Indo-Guyanese amongst others. Even though it has several structures of marriage, monogamy is considered as the most dominant configuration of family with the father, mother and children making the family ( Samuel and Wilson, 2009). However, because of the multiple sexual relationships that adult Guyanese, especially the Afro-Guyanese may have formed, the compositions of households may vary from one house to another. Usually, the family is headed by a male who is considered the head of every family, and provides as well as offers protection to the family members who include the mother as well as the children.
Family Values and Beliefs
All racial groupings of the Guyanese including the Afro-Guyanese and the Indo-Guyanese believe that the family is the most important component of the society where a person derives love and affection, as well as the provision of needs. In the past, most of the Indo-Guyanese marriages were arranged but currently people marry out of love and affection for one another as well as the desire for economic stability ( Samuel and Wilson, 2009). However, race and religion to some extent still plays a role in the choice of a partner for marriage. The Guyanese value the peaceful coexistence amongst family members who must have positive ways of conflict resolution as well as the emphasis on family by all members of the family.
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Interpersonal Relationship within the Family
Guyanese families enjoy robust interpersonal relationships within their families, but religion has played a critical role in the changing of roles of the husbands and wives. The Guyanese women are devoted and show unwavering loyalty to their husbands as is practiced mostly within the Hindu religion (Roopnarine and Brown, 1997) . However, in some Indo-Guyanese families, the women also wield much power just like their male counterparts as they challenge this dominance. The families also involve in large elaborate ceremonies that help in cementing the social ties as well as the fostering of cohesion amongst the members of the community. This shows that the Guyanese give much importance to interpersonal relationships within the families as a way of preserving their heritage.
Socialization and Gender Role
Most Guyanese families are patriarchal in nature meaning that the male members of the society are considered the ultimate authority and decision-makers. This also dictates the division of labor at home, where women are in charge of the household chores and duties performed at home. In the analysis of the gendered division of labor within the Guyanese homes, it is evident that the Indo-Guyanese families exhibit patriarchal tendencies where the males are considered as authorities and do not perform household duties as is common within the Afro-Guyanese and mixed-races families ( Samuel and Wilson, 2009). Overall, women are more likely to perform most of the domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning of the house as well as washing, while the males are likely to just provide for the families as expected of them by the Guyanese culture.
Culture Action Process
The culture of Guyana appreciates the equality of all genders, implying that there is little gender bias amongst the population. In addition, the religion of a Guyanese is considered a private affair and the differences in religion widely tolerated by the members of the population. While class distinctions may exist within Guyana, it is neither based on the caste nor color, but in most cases based on wealth (Roopnarine and Brown, 1997) . Most things are determined according to the racial lines, which lays the basis for the Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese as well as the mixed-race Guyanese within Guyana.
Education and Family Education
In Guyana, the family including the extended family plays an important role in the education and socialization of children. Therefore, the children are taught the desirable behaviors as well as moral values, which may also be determined by the rituals administered to these children (Seecharan, 1999). The Afro-Guyanese and mixed-race Guyanese were pioneers in the education of children as compared to the Indo-Guyanese who did not value education, especially amongst the girl child. However, the emergence of a middle-class has increased the uptake of education by Guyanese families who enroll their children in elementary schools, secondary schools as well as universities and colleges.
Family Discipline Style
All ethnic groups consider discipline as integral in the in order to inculcate moral values to the child at a tender age. Therefore, the disciplining of the family especially the children is at times considered a role for the entire community (Seecharan, 1999). The children do not refer to elders by their names, but use terms as “auntie” or “uncle” in order to show their respect to these disciplinarians. Apart from the conventional ways of teaching discipline to the children, the Guyanese consider corporal punishment as significant in instilling the correct characters and desirable behavior.
Roopnarine, J. L., & Brown, J. (1997). Caribbean Families: Diversity among Ethnic Groups . Greenwich, Conn: Ablex.
Samuel, P. S., & Wilson, L. C. (June 01, 2009). Structural Arrangements of Indo-Guyanese Family: An Assessment of the Assimilation Hypothesis. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 40, 3, 439-454.
Seecharan, C. (1999). The shaping of the Indo-Caribbean people: Guyana and Trinidad in the 1940s. Journal of Caribbean Studies, 14, 61-92.