Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Volume 7, Issue 1, 2015

Article 3
Family, Food, and Culture: Mothers’ Perspectives on Americanization in Jamaica Stimulus Pull in Rorschach Inkblots

Gail M. Ferguson
Maria I. Iturbide
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


This study explored Jamaican mothers’ perspectives on parenting and modern family life in the context of remote acculturation on the island. Seven mothers (29-41 years old) participated in focus group interviews and thematic analysis was done by a team of three coders. Results revealed four major themes: 1) cultural influences, 2) acculturation and enculturation, 3) parenting, and 4) food. Mothers saw media, festivities, and peer/non-parental associations as prominent cultural influences for learning both local Jamaican culture (enculturation) and American culture (acculturation) on the island. Findings revealed a range of reactions to Americanization in Jamaican society including resistance and selective adoption, both of which were evident in the types of parenting approaches and food practices mothers described. Overall, findings support prior quantitative research on remote acculturation in Jamaica and vividly illustrate the lived experience of remote acculturation among this sample of mothers in Jamaica.