Copyright © 2007 International Development Options
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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
AN EXAMINATION OF TRANSNATIONAL REMITTANCE PRACTICES OF JAMAICAN CANADIAN FAMILIES
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.