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Carter says 'no going back'

Social Researcher Richard Carter has identified a series of issues which he said are at the root of some of the social problems facing Barbados.

In a presentation to the opening of a national consultation on The Changing Barbadian Society at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this afternoon, Carter, a former chairman of the local Prison Board, said there was increasing evidence that changing gender roles and emerging definitions of masculinity and femininity were at root of some of the social problems facing the country.

Among the problems he cited were HIV-AIDS, gender-based violence, substance abuse, crime and unemployment.

Also holding negative consequences for an ordered society, he said, were increasing evidence of changing values manifested in rising individualism, disrespect for authority, property and the elderly. As part of his solution, Carter advised against formulating intervention that began with “we

need to get back…”. Social change does not work that way, he added, and we cannot go back. However, he

suggested “we can embark on a programme of social engineering — a deliberate process of identifying, promoting, transmitting and supporting those norms and values considered central to Barbadian society”.

He was of the view that the process must be inclusive of all social sub-groups and all concerned must avoid the natural tendency to “social chauvinism”, which lies in all residents, especially those in positions of power or authority. (EJ)

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