Journal of the Department of Behavioural Sciences
Volume 3 Number 1
THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES AND PARENTING STYLES IN TRINIDAD.
Christine Descartes
This paper demonstrates how culture impinges on the relationship between demographic variables, parenting styles, and behavioural outcomes in multicultural Trinidad. Specifically, the variables of age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and parenting styles, have been conceptualized as social constructs in an attempt to more fully understand the underlying factors behind psychological phenomena within the Trinidadian setting. Social Constructionism (or Social Construction theory) as described by Derry (1999) emphasizes the significance of culture and context in understanding the events that occur in society, and constructs knowledge based on this. I use Social Constructionism to understand how individuals actively employ the guidelines and scripts that various cultures establish and how this in turn influences behaviour. In Trinidad for example, Indo-Trinidadian culture has been perceived as being more collectivistic than Afro-Trinidadian culture, which is perceived as being more individualistic. This paper provides a comprehensive discussion of these two cultural groups.