Alt Left: The Family As Core of Venezuelan Society

Very nice comment here about how the whole of Venezuelan society is structured around a close-knit family unit. Actually, I have found that most of Latin America is like this, at least in the white and mestizo countries. It’s also true in Brazil. I really don’t how true it is in the Black Caribbean because I don’t understand that part of the world very well.

Please note that a stable father is typically not a part of the Venezuelan extended family! Yet society carries on anyway.

Manuel Rodriguez: I think that the stigma about labeling “momma boys” to men with an healthy attachment to their mothers might be mostly about western culture. We could also add the culture of individualism and the atomization and lack of relevance of blood families.

See, in Venezuela, we have a matrifocal system that is present in the majority of the popular class families. The father usually has little if any relevance on the stability and development of the family. The children might have other male models (usually other boyfriends of the mother), but their weight is still not significant.

Boys not only end up being raised mainly viewing their mother as the source of stability of the family, but she is literally the base of the family unit.

The families are “nuclear” in the sense that usually it will be two partners and children in a household, with the possibility of grandparents and grandchildren. But there is a good connection with those you consider to be part of the family. You can go stay with your relatives at their home without any problems as long as you behave yourself, say if you have to travel somewhere near where they live to study or do some other business.

There is the “family welfare” where families usually have the responsibility of giving medicine, food, and money to their relatives in need. This has been present for as far back as anyone can remember, but during the pandemic, this system has been of vital importance for the survival of the Venezuelan people. This is in contrast to countries like Spain, where families simply dropping their elderly on nursing homes ended in tragedy when the pandemic hit those places.

Other thing is that Western countries, specially Anglos, view the family as having a very limited role in the lives of adults.

The family is seen as composed of a nuclear family of two spouses and their immediate children. Apparently, they are expected to be independent and disconnect from their raised family as soon as they turn 18. They may interact occasionally with their immediate family sometimes, but they are otherwise expected to depend on themselves and don’t get much help.

The cultural expectations in other cultures in the world usually are that children are to stay in the family household until they either get married or end up financially secure enough to live independently without issue.

In said cultures the extended family is considered part of the basic family unit. You are also expected to help and give support to any family member that is in need.

This is strengthened when there is a mentality of collectivism or tribalism of sorts, as usually those who are connected to the bloodline are part of the tribe.

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