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Fatherhood in inner city Jamaica


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  • 1. 1 Bourne & Julian, 2013 1 Paul Andrew Bourne & Conroy Julian The Sociology of Fatherhood in Inner-city Jamaica: Social exclusion and how it retards criminality among young boys
  • 2. Bourne & Julian, 2013 The Sociology of Fatherhood in Inner-city Jamaica: Social exclusion and how it retards criminality among young boys By Paul Andrew Bourne & Conroy Julian © Socio-Medical Research Institute First published on September 14, 2013 66 Long Wall Drive, Stony Hill, Stony Hill P.O. Kingston 9, St. Andrew, Jamaica, West Indies Citation: Bourne, P.A., & Julian, C. (2013). The Sociology of Fatherhood in Inner-city Jamaica: Social exclusion and it retards criminality among young boys. Kingston: Socio-Medical Research Institute
  • 3. Bourne & Julian, 2013 Introduction Fatherhood and the role of fathers in the developing nations, particularly in inner-city Caribbean communities, must be contextualized within the space of socio-economic marginalization, criminality and social exclusion. Mr. Oniel Barton-West (pseudo names), the father of two young men in Seaview Gardens, Kingston 11, Jamaica, is an examplar of how many fathers of boys in inner-city violent prone areas employ escape trajectories for their sons by way of social exclusions. Mr. Barton-West had seen numerous young men become involved and engaged into criminality, he vowed not to let his boys fall prey to the general social demographics of the crime pandemic that had engulfed many inner-city young men. Fatherhood in inner-city is a difficult task and must be carefully navigated in order to produce children, especially boys, into well socialized agents. Why many fathers in inner-city communities in the Caribbean fail at their fathering role is because they fail to employ social exclusionary approach in child rearing. The high costs associated with social exclusionary fathering in these communities are so intense that it is easier for fathers to leave the household, the children continue into the cultured life and mothers are burdened by the complexed responsibilities of fathering, the cost of fathering, mothering, retarding children away from the inducement of criminality and other social deviance and navigating the criminal networks in inner-city communities. Criminality is substantially a young men phenomenon in Jamaica. The demographic characteristics of the people murdered, incarcerated and engaged in criminality in Jamaica are young men between 15 and 27 year (Planning Institute of Jamaica, 1990-2013), and fathers or mothers who are both fathers and mothers must employ social exclusion to provide boys with an avenue of escape from criminality. Crime and violence have characterised some geo-political zones in Jamaica more than others, inner-city communities. It is this reality which explains why many fathers in inner-city communities whom have outlined 40 years must utilize strategies to reduce the probability of their sons become a part of the crime characteristics and/or statistics. The travails of many real fathers in inner-
  • 4. Bourne & Julian, 2013 city are politics, marginalization and economics. However, prior to a discussion of the fatherhood in an inner-city communities in a Caribbean nation, there is the importance and relevance of family with reference to its African and West Indian tenets. Family Some of the fundamental attributes on West Indian families are the fusion of different ethnicities, cultures and socio-economic challenges. The Afro-Caribbean family does not only share an African ancestry, but they are also infused with blood lineage from many ethnicities in Europe. This mixed ethnicity is a rationale for mulatto, and while this apparently might not be evident from the colour and physique of many West Indian people, their purity of West Indian family is mixed ethnicity. West Indian families also include Indians; their family types have a somewhat different origin and explain someone of the dissimilarities between itself and the Afro-Caribbean family type. Hence, what is a family and how the Caribbean family differs or is it the same based on traditional definitions of a family? Any definition of the family must take into consideration the ‘Anthropologists’ perspective. Anthropologists who study culture opined that the family is a cultured biological and marital kinship with rules and patterns which govern a particular social group. Like anthropologists, some sociologists (Haralambus & Holborn 2002; Macionis & Plummer 1998; Inkeles 1964) concur with the definition of a family forwarded by their colleagues. This definition of a family is based on the obligations of a culture which is placed on each member of a biological or marital kinship. The issue of whose biological line is a cultural matter as in some cultures it is the father’s biological line, in another it is the mother’s and for some it is both lineages. A group of contemporary sociologists (formerly in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica) in a workshop in 1971 titled ‘The Caribbean Family’ declared that “The family is a social pattern in which individuals who are specifically related by blood or marriage (or sometimes by adoption) are linked together in a special
  • 5. Bourne & Julian, 2013 type of social relationship” (McKenzie & McKenzie, 1971, p. 1), which is similar to the perspective of other non-Caribbean scholars. Importantly, the family (or social relationship which is based on blood or kinship) has been long researched by different sociological scholars. These types include nuclear, common law, extended families, child and visiting families. The family is not only a social institution; it is a socialization agent of the young and a cultural transmission of norms, values, practices, customs and ideologies. This transmission of cultures span generations and its tenets are spread into schools; churches; states and the wider society. In this section of the paper we will peruse a plethora of literature in order to examine family structure in the Caribbean within a framework of sociological perspectives. The focus of the paper is on Caribbean families, and we will use a trajectory approach to the study of the family in order to provide an in-depth understanding of Caribbean family structures. According to Barrow and Reddock (2001) “… Caribbean family studies shifted focus from historical origins to functions that are concerned with how the family fulfilled – or did not fulfil – its functions in contemporary society” (p. 419). Embedded in the definition is what some sociologists referred to as structural functionalism (Haralambus & Holborn 2002; Wallace & Wolf, 1999; McIntosh, 1997; Gidden, 1982, 1986, 1993; Ritzer 1992; Inkeles 1964; Coser, 1957). Structural functionalists (often referred to as functionalists) argued that the society is an organism or a system of many parts all of which function simultaneously for the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the society. Functionalism therefore is founded on the principal of consensus theory that a society is based upon order, inter-relationship and a balance among the various parts for the general whole. During the 1950s, Caribbean anthropologists and or sociologists who were schooled in the theoretical perspective of structural functionalism carried out many studies in the Caribbean based on this methodology called framework (Clarke 1957; Blake 1961; Smith 1956). Those scholars interpreted Caribbean family structure as a functional response to the socio-economic conditions in Caribbean
  • 6. Bourne & Julian, 2013 communities. Anthropologists like Greenfield 1966; Smith 1961 studied Caribbean families that were married or conjugal pair who were living together with child or children. Such a family structure was assumed to be the ideal type for the Caribbean people as this was typical the case in British and American cultures. While that family type (marital union) originated in Britain and America, Greenfield and Smith recognized that the Caribbean family was more diverse than a nuclear family type household. Hence, Greenfield 1966 conned the term sub-nuclear as a family type that defines some Caribbean households. Following their field work (Clarke 1970; Greenfield 1966) they recognized co-residential conjugal unions which included common-law as well as extended families types. Another Caribbean scholar (Rodman 1971) added a new dimension to the Caribbean family. He identified Caribbean families with-in ethnicity and class. Rodman found that the lower class was characterized by promiscuous sexual relationships, ‘illegal’ marital unions, illegitimate children, un- married mothers, deserting husbands and fathers and abandoned children. From Rodman’s findings, the Caribbean family would lack defined obligations and a British and American definition of a family structure, as Caribbean family structure sometimes did not have a male present and mothers were left to father children. Caribbean children were therefore, sometimes left without a father and by extension bear the surnames of their mothers. This is another disparity in Caribbean family types from that of other cultures. Barrow & Reddock (2001) titled the aforementioned disparity as adopted flexibility. Based on functionalism, it may appear that Rodman’s findings were that of a dysfunctional family type. However, this is culturally specific to some Caribbean family types. The seemingly disorganized or dysfunctional family type is a disparity of structural functionalism which cannot be neglected in Afro- Caribbean families as this is indeed an explanation of a family type. R T Smith applied a post modernist stance in examining Caribbean families. He believed that the Caribbean people must be understood within their culture, system, family and kinship as this will
  • 7. Bourne & Julian, 2013 provide information on this group. The examination of Caribbean families must be expanded from a black lower class, elite and middle class phenomena in order to understand the plural nature of Caribbean societies. A critical part of any study of Caribbean families is an examination of their Creole cultures these are shared experiences and meanings passed down orally from one generation to the next. Hence, the irregular unions, illegitimacy and out-side children are aspects of Caribbean societies and so cannot be omitted from the discourse. The plantation system battered many slaves into partial acceptance of European cultures. Poverty, which is one of the by-products of slavery, meant that many families were not cared for by the male because he was outside of the home or taken away to work on another farm, thus low marriage levels, irregular unions and scattered children were by-products for the Caribbean society. Here again, this is a departure from structural functionalism Therefore modern Caribbean families emerged from and dated back to the periods of slavery. This is a rational for the Afro-Caribbean family in which there is closeness between mother and child than father and child. It is also another explanation for visiting common law unions and a high percentages of children born outside of wedlock; and a departure from the ideal nuclear family that functionalism prescribes for societies West Indian families are not only Afro-Caribbean, but Indians as well and so must be examined within the discussion of Caribbean families. In the Caribbean the Indians were indentured slaves which meant that during slavery their treatment was different from that of the Africans. The Indians were allowed to have stabled family unions; this allowed them to have a family type similar to the ideal (marital unions). The Indian family type was a patriarchal family which extended beyond the nuclear family. This extended family type allowed for different generations within the same house hold. According to Inkeles (1964) sociology is a science which give account of how units are produced, reared and fitted together. This is the rationale why we must understand the family types in the
  • 8. Bourne & Julian, 2013 Caribbean. The Afro Caribbean families extend beyond nuclear, common law, visiting unions, adoptive parent families and extended family type. Owing to the fact that we must give account for how units are produced the Afro-Caribbean family structure also includes matri-focality (Smith 1973). Accompanying urbanization is decentralization and the increase in the matri-focalities of the Caribbean family. Migration which is another extension of Caribbean families also explains extended family types. With the economic challenges in Caribbean societies many Caribbean families are now without a mother because of migration or employment, some fathers are absent from the home permanently and the grand-mothers have to take the responsibility of rearing children at a relatively young age. This responsibility is also shared by other persons such as aunts, uncles and nieces. Interestingly to note that there are Caribbean family structures that are children only families. In such families mothers and fathers are absent and older children have to look after their younger siblings. The Caribbean families, particularly those in inner-city communities, interface with many challenges including a high crime milieu. Hence, some historical context to the crime must be brought into the discourse of sociology of fatherhood in inner-city communities in a Caribbean nation. Historical context of crime According to the World Bank: Between 1998 and 2000, according to police report, drug and gang related murder accounted on average for 22 percent of total murders. Domestic violence represented about 30 percent of total murders. The rising severity of the murder problem is highlighted by comparison with New York, a high crime city – while both Jamaica and New York experienced similar rates of murder in 1970, Jamaica’s murder rate had increased to almost seven time that of New York’s by year 2000 (World Bank, 2003, 121) The empirical evidence of the World Bank coupled with the aforementioned studies on the crime problem in Jamaica explain the societal consciousness and call for the divorced between crime and politics. One sociologist (Don Robotham) opined that “Probably the most intractable factor
  • 9. Bourne & Julian, 2013 contribution to violent crime in Jamaica is the interconnecting network of criminal gangs, drug running, politics and the police” (Robotham, 2003, 215). A rationale which supports an examination of the theoretical framework of the relationship between crime and politics in Jamaica is embedded in this postulation made by Robotham that “...the political parties, they rely on party ‘soldiers’ [political enforcers] to deliver the vote during elections or, as recent events vividly demonstrated, to keep the peace during civil disturbances (Robotham, 2003, 217). While plethora of studies exist on the association between crime and politics in Jamaica (Robotham, 2003; Harriott, 2003a, 2003b; Gray, 2003a, 2003b; Sives, 2003; Clarke, 2006; Leslie, 2010), the general experiences are similarly the case across many other nations in the Caribbean (Brathwaite, 2004; United Nations and World Bank, 2007; Lashin, 2005) and how the police force supports the politics of crimes (Mars, 2004). Harriott (2004) aptly contextualized the crime phenomenon in the Caribbean when he postulated that “The problem of crime in the Caribbean – its causes, its consequences, and its control – emerged as a major concern during the 1990s” (Harriott, 2004, 1). He went on to say that “The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Conference, at its Twenty-Second Meeting held in Nassau, the Bahamas in July 2001 expressed disquiet with regard to this problem and the threats that it poses to public safety and to the social and economic well-being of the people of the region” (Harriott, 2004, 1). The crime pandemic in the Caribbean, particularly inner-city communities in Jamaica, is as a result of politics, economics, organized criminal networks and poor governance. Gary Becker’s seminal work on the economics of crime aptly explains the full factor into criminality and the difficulties of a real father in inner-city communities who desire his boys more than reality of crime characteristics, life, prosperity and good fortunes. Owing to economic marginalization in many inner-city communities in Jamaica, established by the social structure, politics have exploited the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of inner-city people. Politics, therefore, are critical to the understanding of the current crime pandemic in the Caribbean, particularly in inner-city areas.
  • 10. Bourne & Julian, 2013 Politics and Crime The crime phenomenon in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica including Kingston and inner-city communities across Jamaica, cannot be comprehensively examined without a reference to politics (Harriott, 2003b). Figueroa and Sives (2003) provided an account of the relationship between crime and the garrison phenomenon in Jamaica. They contended that the garrison phenomenon is a critical factor in explaining the high rate of violent crimes in Jamaica. “The 1997 election represented a significant shift in garrison-type voting but the garrison remained a site for extensive electoral crime. In addition the shift that took place must be seen as primarily an electoral phenomenon, and not a foundation for a concomitant decline in violent crime and intercommunity conflicts” Mark Figueroa and A. Sives said (Figueroa and Sives, 2003, 84). Another scholar contended that “On the side of the gang and gang leader: priority access to government contracts, enhanced authority over the various (very fractions) ‘corners’ in the constituency, and most important of all, police protection and cover (Robotham, 2003, 217), suggesting that there is a long marriage between politics and crime. The aforementioned perspectives highlight why there are highly likely to be increased violent crimes in the parish of St. Catherine owing to the number of organized gangs and given that these gangs support a different political party. Many of the crimes that are carried out in Kingston and inner-city communities across Jamaica are commited against the oppositing political side, but they are labelled political crimes for simplicity. In fact, the initial confrontation may be carried out against a member of the opposing political side, but its motivation is more economic dominance than political ideology. Studies have shown that politics, particularly political garrisonization of areas, have 1) caused reduced political freedom, 2) resulted in murders, 3) seen political victimization, 4) trampled on democratic freedom, 5) resulted in economic marginalization and 6) explain a part of the crisis in the Caribbean as well as Latin America (Robotham, 2001; Boxill et al., 2007; Powell, Bourne and Waller, 2007; Gray, 2003a 2003b; Harriott, 2003; Sives, 2003; Figueroa and Sives, 2003; Simmonds, 2004; Leslie,
  • 11. Bourne & Julian, 2013 2010; United Nations and World Bank, 2007; Robotham, 2003; Moser and Holland, 1997; Moser, 1999; Griffith, 2004a, 2004b; Ellis, 1991, 1992). Garrison politics have claimed the lives of many people in the Caribbean, and Figueroa and Sives (2003) empirically established the association between political garrisonization and crime, political polarization and economic marginalization and escalating crimes in St. Catherine, Jamaica. While there are some truth to the more major crimes, particularly shooting, robbery and murders, are more committed in urban political garrisons ares in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Catherine and Clarendon as obtained for the entire nation, the statistics revealed with during the period of economic recessions in the parish murders, shooting and robbery increased more than in periods of economic growth. The United Nations and World Bank (2007) study entitled ‘Crime, violence, and development: Trends, costs, and policy options in the Caribbean’ noted that: [t]he Governments of the Caribbean countries recognize the seriousness of the problem and are exploring innovative policy responses at both the national and regional levels. Civil society organizations are doing their part as well by designing and implementing violence prevention programs targeting youth violence, violence against women, and other important forms of violence (United Nations and World Bank, 2007, 8) Given the serious crime problem in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica and Haiti, and the perceived unresponsiveness of the police (Levy, 2001; 4), peoples’ fear of crime and victimization had reached an alarming level. This has created a willingness to circumvent the formal system of justice and digress into vigilantism and or violent reprisals. The cumulative effect is the emergence of a culture of crime in the Caribbean and again accounts for what obtains in many urban zones in Jamaica. The socio- economic marginalization of the Caribbean people is a part of the rationale for political patronage, fight out scare resources, violence, continued political separation and the political hierarchy supports the divisiveness as it fashions their governance of the society. Again, the rationale for many of the gang feuds in urban Jamaica are parcel of political patronage, but it extends beyond that the opportunities of economic-individuality. The challenge of many fathers in marginalized communities in Jamaica is how to
  • 12. Bourne & Julian, 2013 navigate among politics, economics, survivability, patronage, suffering and parenting, particularly guiding their sons through the mercury waters of inner-city living. Fatherhood in inner-city communities in Jamaica During the period of the 1990s, Mr. Baton-West common-law wife borne him two sons (Alfred Barton-West, born in 1990 and Oniel Barton-West, born in 1992). At the time, Seaview Gardens was notorious known for gang violence, murders, bloddletting, robberies and Mr. Barton-West saw how many young men’s life evaparated from their beings. Many of the conflicts arose because of politics and the victims were never the politicians; but, young men between 14 and 28 years. He dreaded what would become of his boys as it was the norm for them to become criminals, by choice or otherwise. Mr. Barton-West and his common-law wife had many discussions as to how we should grow and not grow their sons, which included sending them to prestigious preparatory elementary schools, remaining in the house and providing them with all the necessary amenties that children need in order to prevent the outside world from exorting influence other their children, boys. It is germane at this point to outline the crime pandemic which was high in the 1990s, in an effort to provide a comprehensive understanding of how Mr. Barton-West navigated his boys away from the criminality to well socialized boys, the issue of crime must be examined. Crime in the Caribbean had reached an alarming proportion that this called for some crime prevention mechanisms and governmental interventions. Civil society was not excluded from various bodies called upon to actively forward measures that could address the crime pandemic that had swept through the society. In 1998, this prompted a conference which was hosted in Barbados on ‘Crime and Criminal Justice in the Caribbean’ in order to ascertain measures, policies, programmes and intervention that can be instituted to redemy the crime pandemic (Professor Anthony Harriott, 2004i). Harriott (2004) contended that “The problem of crime in the Caribbean – its causes, it consequences, and its control – emerged as a major concern during the 1990s”(p. 1). He went on to state that crime and
  • 13. Bourne & Julian, 2013 HIV/AIDS “are wreaking havoc on our population”(p. 1), suggesting that the crime pandemic is polorazing many peoples and therefore must be addressed with urgency. While Professor Harriott, being among the leading scholars in the Caribbean on crime and violence, extensively wrote and spoke about the crime pandemic in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, he lived away from the reality experienced by Mr. Barton-West. Mr. Barton-West lived in a section of Kingston that had rates of violent crime, with two young boys to navigate around the inner-city realities of Jamaica, crime and violence. Between 1998 and 2000, according to police report, drug and gang related murder accounted on average for 22 percent of total murders. Domestic violence represented about 30 percent of total murders. The rising severity of the murder problem is highlighted by comparison with New York, a high crime city – while both Jamaica and New York experienced similar rates of murder in 1970, Jamaica’s murder rate had increased to almost seven time that of New York’s by year 2000 (World Bank, 2004, ) According to Bourne and Solan (2012) “The nexus of violent crimes in Jamaica goes back to pre- emancipation, when the revolt of the slaves would lead to their capture and murder” (p. 59), suggesting that there is a long standing crime and violence among poor inner-city residents. During the period made reference by the World Bank, Seaviews Garden could be likened to a volcano where fire from the guns were widespread, many boys lie on the pavements and innocent residents were afraid to venture beyond particular locality after seven O’clock, owing to fear of the unknown and the past events. At the same time, Alfred and Onielwere 10 and 8 years respectively. Many boys at those ages were gun carriers, being schooled to become criminals and were the pawns in the crime pandemic in inner-city poor communities. Mr. Barton and his common-law wife had witnessed the lives of many young men, ages 12 to 20 years, being taken away from them and return to the creator. Fear engulfed their beings as they knew the vulnerable of their boys in this struggle. “It was during that time that my respect Mr. Barton-West grew as he would continuously speak to his boys that they would become lawyer and/or doctor and that they should never use guns, marijuana or any other illegal objects as these things would
  • 14. Bourne & Julian, 2013 retard their choices in the future” Ms. Simpson (pseudo name for the common-law wife of Mr. Barton- West) said. Mr. Barton-West and ?Ms. Simpson agreed to grow the boys indoors, which at the time seem exclusionary and isolative but they had to do something to prevent them from being trapped by the criminal network. In addition to being grown indoor, Mr. Barton-West took them away from the area on weekends for ice cream, play in the parks and regular country tours. All of those activities were to reduce the number of contacts the boys would have with other boys, likely criminals, and retard the probability of them becoming involved into criminality. Their ages were the ideal age for criminal initiation and this meant they, especially Mr. Barton-West, had to create by way of reducing contact time between the boys and men the area. He spent all his time at home from 5 pm to 7am, when the boys would be at home. He read them stories, had many talks about the area and other boys, criminality and how it is likely for them to the coherse therein, and how they should aspire to become lawyers and doctors in an effort to transform their lives away from criminality. He knew the criminals. Mr. Barton- West had outlived his gang influence and members, and people knew of his viciousness in the past. He was still feared and reverenced by the young gang members; but, he had left that live some two decades now. In an effort to be there for his sons unlike his father, Mr. Barton-West reduced the number of hours spent working as he wanted to be at home by a certain time when the boys would be home. He insisted that 10 and 8 years were the initiation ages for the gangs, they were prime targets for gang leaders and he had to socialize them away from a life of criminality. Sometimes Ms. Simpson indicated that she wondered how he (Mr. Barton-West) was able to co-ordinate his other activities and those of the boys as he spent more time with them than he did with her or his friends. He had a time schedule pasted on the walls which outlined his time away, with the boys, and family time. Unlike other children,
  • 15. Bourne & Julian, 2013 specifically boys of their ages, Alfred and Oniel were not sent to the corner shops as Mr. Barton-West indicated that it takes a moment for them to be engulfed into gangs. So, he and Ms. Simpson would go to the shop and he had a taxi take them to and from school and to the gate. “Oftentimes, I complained of the lack of socialization of the boys with their peer, and he would say school has many people of their ages and the possibility of them becoming engaged into criminality at this pretigious elementary school is low, and I would rather spend my all than have them become criminals” Ms. Simpson remarked. “On one occasion, I over heard some boys in the community calling them girls and house rats. I informed Mr. Barton-West of the happening and he insisted this was the only way for them to escape the trap of criminality in inner-city communities in Jamaica” Ms. Simpson opined. He bought them books, toys and indoor games, and played with them as a child. He tooted the train horn, blow baloons, played scabble, chest, snake games and took them on his back while on his knees inside the house. Mr. Barton-West was a child in a grown man’s body. “Sometimes, I dreaded how my sons will be perceived; but Mr. Barton-West said they must escape from the life he once lived” Ms, Simpson argued. Mr. Barton-West was well known in the community; but, his sons were more known for their limited interaction with other children and social exclusion than their personality. He taught the boys to read. Reading was a regular event at the home and each day he bought a new book. On many occasions, the boys were unable to read the materials; but he would read from passage therefrom just the came. “ One day, one day, they will be able to read better than I” Ms. Simpson said Mr. Barton-West declared. The boys were able to read at seven years old which was a rearity for boys in inner-city areas. Reading was more ascribed to girls, and boys who could at an early age was labeled ‘sissy’ (or girls). No one knew that they would read at this age as they were not interacting with the children from the community in any significant way for this to be known. “Often times, I questioned his stance on in-house growing; but, he insisted that this was the only way out of the
  • 16. Bourne & Julian, 2013 circle” Ms. Simpson argued. Mr. Barton-West would inform his boys as to who went to jailed, killed, ran away and hiding in the last two weeks. Ms. Simpson postulated that Mr. Barton-West would say to the boys “Do you want to be criminals, die at an early age, run away and not see mommy and daddy again.” She indicated that “ oftentimes I would be speechless. It made sense and I would insist that he send them to his parents in a middle-income community for play time with his nephews and nieces”. Mr. Barton-West’s approach has unfolded some two decades afterwards. As today, both Alfred and Oniel are young men in their twenty. Neither Alfred nor Oniel has ever being convicted of a crime, questioned by the police on any matter of criminality, and sought by gangsters for their involvement in criminality. Both young men who are employed, still attending school, one want to an accountant and the other bank manager. “We got it right” Ms. Simpson said. She continued that “When I recall what ‘we’ did, more Mr. Barton-West, he got it right”. There is no denial from the aforementioned accounts of Ms. Simpson that fatherhood in inner-city communities is a tumultous task, poverty is an inducement into criminality and this increases the probability of failure of fathers if there is no deliterate plan to rescue young males. Poverty and Education Illiterate adults tend to be poor (Younger, 2002 p.98) Poverty is correlated with adults’ educational level: 66 percent of illiterate are adults poor,…64 percent of adults who did not graduate for primary school are poor, …22 percent of secondary school graduates are poor (Younger, 2002, p. 100) From Younger’s findings, an underline principle of poverty is illiteracy and how it affects the adult age cohorts. With such a finding, poverty directly affects the quality of the labour stock. The
  • 17. Bourne & Julian, 2013 situation emphasizes how access to tertiary level education is inversely related to the adult poor as those who can access post-secondary education; only 22 percent of secondary graduands are poor. Embedded within this finding is how increase in age of the poor will inversely relate to accessing post- secondary level education, and the low probability of the poor accessing post-secondary education. The family discussed in this paper is poor uneducated one and this is a hallmark of many Caribbean inner- city families. The Tanzanian household budget survey conducted in 2000/01 on 22,178 household found that “adult women have lower levels of education than adult men, but current school enrolment rates are slightly higher for girls”, this speaks to an issue that access to education is different for men than for women and this is similar in respect to poverty level. Within this finding is the distinction between the genders accessing education and the researcher is theorizing that this is similar at the post-secondary level. It provides a range of tools which are used in the production of commodities, enhancing social development, physical creation and aiding the conceptual framework of the socio-biological world to which we reside. According to the World Bank, productivity is a critical by-product of quality education (World Bank, 2006). Embedded within this theory is primary, secondary and post-secondary education but it is the latter that provides the bedrock upon which necessary knowledge base on functions of the events are built for interpreting one socio-physical space. Hence, it should come as no surprise that many inner-city Caribbean families consist of lowly educated and poor peoples and this justifies why the circle of poverty spans generations. The frustration levied against the family is intense and the economics of survivability leaves the family drain of hope and therefore accounts for the reason why fathers usually leave the household before long. The US Information Service in speaking of the issue of poverty uses the United Nations report of 1996 to argue that:
  • 18. Bourne & Julian, 2013 … the quality of people's lives cannot be measured by income alone. It says that while Pakistan has had enviable economic growth, 61 percent of the population there lacks the health, education and nourishment needed to climb out of poverty. Argentina's income is among the highest in the developing world, but 20 percent of its rural population live in financial poverty and 29 percent lack access to safe water (US Information Service, 1996). From the US Information Service’s monograph, the poor is unable to access education, and some writers argue that this is not to any doings of their own. In its monograph, the US Information Service has not afford a perspective on the levels of education to which poor is unable to access. The researcher believes that this is even more difficult the higher one climbs on the education rung. This is even supported by US Information Service’s citation of the UN report that: To reduce inequality while promoting growth, the report suggests that national authorities need to give more attention to human development, poverty reduction, and employment policies, especially for women; expand access to land and credit; boost investment in and access to education and health; and encourage development of that informal sector of the economy that often does business on the street and in homes (US Information Service, 1996). There is a convergence in principle that access to education reduces poverty. Academics, researchers, non-governmental and governmental institutions are saying that access to quality education is the hallmark of poverty alleviation. According to the US Department of State: Food security and alleviating hunger hinge, among other things, on defining property rights for small-scale farmers, on technology, and on providing social safety nets to the most vulnerable groups, says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman. Cato Institute economist Ian Vásquez also highlights the property rights issue, as well as the correlation of economic freedom with poverty reduction (US Department of State, 2002). From the perspective of the US Department of State, poverty alleviation will only be accomplished by addressing not only ‘food security’ but on ‘economic freedom’. Such a state in the social setting of the poor must come from access to quality and higher education. Poverty reduction, therefore, does not rest with the provision of food to the poor or to poor countries, as this will not go to
  • 19. Bourne & Julian, 2013 destroy the economic livelihood of farmers and other institutions within the recipient country. The issue can only be address from a multidimensional approach which includes the provision and access of education to all peoples within the country. By provide access to quality education, the poor is given an opportunity to gain financial independence. This seemingly simplistic approach holds the key to financial freedom, hunger eradication, opportunities, plethora of choices and social harmony. Another aspect that is hidden in the food insecurity is the nutritional deficiencies, and the direct association between poverty and illness, unemployment and crime, unemployment and poverty and unemployment and illness. Now, it should not be difficult for one to see the challenge of fatherhood in inner-city violent prone and poor communities and how some fathers employ social exclusion to retard the probability of their young male children from become future gang members. In ‘They cry ‘respect’: Urban violence and poverty in Jamaica’, Horace Levy, a senior lecturer in the department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, in his research, finds that there is a relationship between unemployment and crime. He says that “along with people from other areas they point to a direct link between unemployment and crime.” (Levy, 2001, p.10). Despite the qualitative methodology that he uses to acquire data for his findings, Levy’s findings provide a basis, upon which an understanding may be had of the importance of financial independence, violence and crime, unemployment and poverty. From Levy’s study, chief among the characteristics of youth involvement in gangs is “parents not educated”. It is clearly from Levy’s study, that the poor experience a high rate of non-school attendance because of in affordability. With such a setting, the ability to transform their lives is high improbable as they lack the financial resources, and their human capital is rather low making their labour cost low, and this explain the high degree of unemployment or involvement in menial work or ‘hustling’. Lipton and Litchfield (2001) forward an
  • 20. Bourne & Julian, 2013 explanation for setting above. They say that “One of the main conclusions from Lipton (1998) is that higher levels of resources are associated with lower levels of poverty” (Lipton & Litchfield, 2001, p.3). Access to tertiary education is a difficult option for the poor. Based on studies, education is a vehicle in the socio-economic mobility (development) (Nie, et al., 1972) to which if can be access by the poor will transform their social-environment (Barr, 2005). Poverty prevents economic freedom and choice, and so despite ones willingness, this circumvents many realities of their experience. The poor is held in the vicious cycle of continuous poverty. The Inter-American Development Bank in highlighting the social conditions of the poor says, “Who are the poor? They are likely to be less educated and to work in the informal sector” (Inter-American Development Bank, 1998, p. 12). One writer forwards a perspective that converges with that of the Inter-American Development Bank that access to higher education is the most basic ingredient in the reduction of poverty (NetAid, 2005). NetAid asks the question ‘Why is education key to ending global poverty?’ Many writers have argued that education (i.e. formal education) increases one scope and employability, and this experience improves income capabilities, perception of health care, promotes fewer children and opens one access to information. Access to education, therefore, provides its recipient with particular skills that she/he will harness in accessing resources that will change his/her socio-economic status. The benefits to education are far reaching. They extend beyond the person to the wider community that the individual will interact on an ongoing basis. In attempt to illustrate the benefits of education beyond the personal, NetAid cites that “increasing the number of children who finish school leads to economic growth, social and political stability, a decline in crime rates and improved social services” (NetAid, 2005). This is the rationale behind why the studied father in this research sent his children to preparatory schools, the role of education in transform poverty,
  • 21. Bourne & Julian, 2013 involvement in criminality and options away from social deviance as well as the perpetuation of violence in inner-city communities. Studies have shown there is a high correlation between levels of schooling and levels of economic development (Oxaal, 1997). Nevertheless, despite the association that exists between the variables, the issue of causality is still inconclusive. Pundits have not concretized whether or not income growth causes educational expansion or vice versa. According to Oxaal, ‘human capital theory’ asserts, “education creates skills which facilitate higher levels of productivity among those who possess them in comparison with those who do not” (Oxaal, 1997). From the ‘human capital theory’ education is a worthwhile expenditure as it creates capacity and skills which are needed to transform the productive space of a company, society or country. Gibbison and Murthy (2003) in analyzing issues of irregular attendance in Jamaican primary school argue that a superior educated population is more productive, “with greater productivity leading to higher rates of economic growth” (p.119). The benefits of education are not limited to the techniques of analyses and formal knowledge acquired on the environment or on socio-psychological issues but it includes health-seeking behaviour, national poverty alleviation, crime reductions and greater citizenry participation in the political process. From Gibbison and Murthy’s findings, “In 1990 the major reason for school absence was economic for the 2 lowest quintiles, accounting for 44 to 74% of school absence” (p.127). This finding highlights the disadvantaged position of the poor to attain or access secondary and by extension tertiary level education. This leads to an understanding of the poor as to why tertiary level education is mostly foregone. It is due to the cost of attendance, and the issue that many of them would not have completed secondary school. Hence, they are not able to access this level of education because of issues of attendance that was brought about from affordability.
  • 22. Bourne & Julian, 2013 A critical component that is held against the poor in access formal education is affordability. From not having the financial resources to expend on necessities, the poor are even less likely to improve their human capital without financial assistance from institutions. An important determinant of educational participation in all contemporary society is money to which the poor are unable to find. Hence, with the increasing cost of education beyond the secondary level, the poor are marginalized and left on the outskirts of the tertiary level education structure. They, on the other hand, if are given loans and other income support schemes from organizations; they are able to compete with the children of middle-class families. According to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, “Students from low income families are less likely to participate in higher education and the lower the income, the more unlikely the progression to higher education (p.168). Population statistics and studies show that one of the demographic characteristics of people who are living in poverty is large family size (Demographic Statistics, 2004; Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2000; Census, 2001; Lanjouw and Ravallion, 1995; Buhmann, et al., 1988). In an article titled ‘Poverty and household size’, Lanjouw and Ravallion (1995) argue that there is substantial evidence to show that a strong negative association exists between household size and consumption per person in developing countries. This postulation highlights the how it is that household size is probabilistically low in relation to access to post-secondary education. From Lanjouw and Ravallion work (on Pakistan data), the poor who are predominantly from large household size in developing countries will not be able to spend needed financial resources on education despite its offerings because a large proportion of their income (i.e. consumption) must be spent on food, water, cooking utensils, firewood (i.e. fuel), clothing and housing. A part of Lanjouw and Ravallion’s work spoke to the association that exist in poor household, which is that they tend to have larger families.
  • 23. Bourne & Julian, 2013 Buhmann, et al (1988), by means of cross-country information from a Luxembourg Income Study data base on 10 developed countries, and Coulter, et al (1992), using the United Kingdom Family Expenditure Survey data, both find associative relationship between inequality and poverty estimates within the context of household size and consumption. A study conducted by Meenakshi and Ray (2000) on 68,102 households in rural India, concurs with the findings of previous studies that an inverse relationship exists between household size and consumption. With the robustness of household size of the poor and the degree of material deprivation, they are then less likely to access secondary and so post-secondary education. This is primarily due to incapacitation and not ability or intellectual capacity of the people. It, therefore, can be construed from studies that poverty may be caused from household size, which the influences access to post-secondary education. From the studies presented herein, embedded with the discourse of poverty is deprivation of financial and material resources which are generally handed down to the children. Within the poor household, it is likely that the household head and spouse are of a low education, and this may be one of the conditions that will influence the children not recognizing the importance of transformational function of education unless the parent(s) is/are going to emphasis this to the children. One of the components of poverty is high rates of unemployment and so it is highly probabilistic that the poor will reside within a particular geo-political zone due to financial constraints. The poor are more likely to live in low-income areas, slums, dilapidated building, within poor socio-economic surroundings, and in violent prone areas (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2000, p. 3 - 5). Statistics for Jamaica revealed that unemployment is highest among the poor and so is the lowest level of education. It is this reality in many Caribbean societies, particularly in inner-city, that sees why some fathers exert extra effort in seeking to educated their children, especially males, and why some run away from their households. Inducement to criminality and why social exclusion works
  • 24. Bourne & Julian, 2013 In Becker’s seminal work on crimes, he noted that crime is an economic phenomenon (Becker, 1968). Becker (1968), using econometric analysis – regression technique - a tool in objectivism, established factors that influence an individual’s choice to engage in criminality. Becker’s seminal work empirically establishes what is widely known as the economics of crime. Becker’s‘utility maximization crime’ framework expresses crime as a function of many variables. This is encapsulated in Equation [1], below: y = f(x1, x2,, x3,x4, x5, x6 , x7) ................................................................................ [1] Where y = hours spent in criminal activities, x1 = wage for an hour spent in criminal activity, x2 = hourly wage in legal employment, x3 = income other than from crime or employment x4 = probability of getting caught, x5 = probability of being convicted if caught, x6 = expected sentence if convicted, and x7 = age It can be extrapolated from Becker’s work that poverty is positively related to criminality, and a rise in unemployment will increase probability of engagement into criminality. Some Caribbean scholars also examined the matter of crime and found that it is an economic issue (Alfred, et al. (2001), indicating that 1) economic and financial crises; 2) lower of remittances to a society; 3) increases unemployment and poverty and 4) a deterioration in the socio-economic conditions of the society will increase lawless, corruption, and crimes, particularly against business that people assess as having the economic resources.
  • 25. Bourne & Julian, 2013 In addition to poverty, other factors that influence crimes can be classified under the heading of social, cultural, economical and political conditions (Robotham, 2003; Tremblay, 1995; Ellis, 1992; Bourne 2011). Policy makers continue to rely on empirical inquiry to implement policies in the Caribbean, because of the validity of utilizing positivistic theoretical perspectives. Harriott aptly summarized the failure of conventional theorizing, when he opined that “Traditional law enforcement methods have similarly proved to be ineffective” (Harriott, 2004a, 262), which would include the long- established factors of crime. Using econometric analysis, Nobel prize winner Gary Becker (1968) established that involvement in crime activities can be explained by income received from criminal activities, legal employment, probability of being caught, probability of being convicted, duration of sentencing if caught, age and income from non-criminal engagements. It can be deduced from Becker’s work that crime is predominantly an economic phenomenon, which was supported by Alfred Francis and his colleagues (2001), using data for Jamaica. Although Alfred Francis et al did not include politics among the independent variables; they found that the economic factors contributed significantly to involvement in criminality, which does not eliminate the political factor as well as socio-demographic correlates. With Becker’s work (1968) showing that the probability of being caught and the likely sentencing of the guilt party are element of engagement in crimes, the low rates of conviction of many crimes in the Caribbean is interpreted by indicator to avoid reporting threats and crimes. Hence, the sociology of fatherhood in inner-city communities in Jamaica is highly difficult as father must weigh family needs, survivability, personal ambitions and the image of the bourgeoisie’s diction of well socialized people within the realities of their existence. The challenges places on father in inner-city communities are intense and it is easier for them to forsake their children that travel with the travails of fathering children, particularly boys, from the easier route of criminality. It requires self-denial, tolerance, vision, and social exclusion from fathers in order to socialize their ways from a life of criminality, and social deviance. Because the
  • 26. Bourne & Julian, 2013 inducement into criminality is so designed by the social structure in Caribbean communities, it is easier for fathers to forsake their children, the male children forsake their children and the cycle is never ending, therefore accounting for a higher inducement into criminality than defined life of the elite class. Conclusion There are men, there are fathers and there is Mr. Barton-West, a father who had a vision to transform the minds and expectations of his two sons into well-socialized and law abiding citizens. In closing, sometimes people become involved into unfortunate situations, but the justice system is one of reform and not condemnation. Hence, I am imploring the readers of this resaerch to understand how fatherhood is difficult in inner-city areas in Jamaica. The reality of Alfred and Oniel is not widespread in inner-city communiyis and that Mr. Barton-West is an exemplar father whom have chaned the reality of boys in marginalized areas in Jamiaca. Note: This paper is an except from a study conducted in Seaview Garden, Kingston 11, Jamaica. The study was conducted over two years, in which the researchers followed, observed, questioned and asked other people about the stories given by Ms. Simpson. All the issues mentioned in this paper were firstly verified by the researchers before they were documented as a part of the study. References Barrow C, & Reddock R, (eds). (2001). Caribbean sociology: Introductory Readings. Kingston: Ian Randle, markus Wiener, & James Currey. Blake J. (1961). Family structure in Jamaica: the Social Context of Reproduction. New York: Free Press.
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  • 31. Bourne & Julian, 2013 Appendix I Table 1: Number of Murders and violent crime, 1970-2010 Year Murder Violent crime Year Murder Violent crime 1970 152 1990 542 20698 1971 145 1991 561 18522 1972 170 1992 629 20173 1973 227 1993 653 21275 1974 195 1994 690 22403 1975 266 1995 780 23083 1976 367 1996 925 24617 1977 409 15893 1997 1037 22053 1978 381 16640 1998 953 19781 1979 351 1999 849 17056 1980 889 24201 2000 887 16469 1981 490 2001 1191 14929 1982 405 19867 2002 1045 14047 1983 424 2003 975 13611 1984 484 21186 2004 1471 15306 1985 - 2005 1674 14920 1986 449 19228 2006 1340 13136 1987 442 2007 1574 14219 1988 414 19456 2008 1601 11432 1989 439 19886 2009 1680 11939 2010 1428 11062 Sources: Planning Institute of Jamaica, various years