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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2007 International Development Options

                                                                                               All Rights Reserved



Volume Four                                                                   Winter 2006-Spring 2007                                                              Numbers 3-4.


  Theme: Global Labor Migration and Emerging Trends in Development Finance: An Assessment of the

  Economic and Social Impact of Migrant (Worker) Remittances in Central America and the Caribbean 




   Dwaine Plaza

   Department of Sociology

   Oregon State University

   Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3703

   Published Online: February 10, 2017





This study is based on data collected in 2005 from a non-random survey of Jamaican household heads in Toronto (n=300), a series of in-depth interviews and focus group meetings. Through these data sources we examine the transnational remittance practices and feelings of obligation among Jamaican-Canadian migrants for family, kin and fictive kin living in Jamaica. The data allow us to also examine the differences in remittance practices in terms of gender, social class, age (generation), duration of time in Canada, religious affiliation and familial ties. Findings from the research suggest that Jamaican-Canadian families are deeply imbedded in transnational family caring relationships. Despite the duration of time in Canada the overwhelming majority of Jamaican-Canadian families continue sending money, barrels and other intangibles to family, kin and fictive kin living in Jamaica. These remittances have allowed Jamaicans to avoid starvation, malnutrition and a further decline into poverty caused by structural adjustment policies implemented in the late 1980s. Significant prestige and honor also come to those Jamaican Canadian families who regularly send money and other material commodities to help those left behind.

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