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Week 7 Caribbean Lecture and Recitation Notes

by: Stephanie Lawrence

Week 7 Caribbean Lecture and Recitation Notes ANTH 1115-001

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Stephanie Lawrence


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Race, Class, Gender, and Culture Change in Jamaica
Caribbean and Post-Colonial
Professor Roland
Class Notes
Caribbean History
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Lawrence on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1115-001 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Professor Roland in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views.


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Date Created: 10/08/16
The Caribbean Day 14 Lecture: Race, Class, Gender and Culture Change in Jamaica Texts: Thomas’“Modern Blackness”; Ulysse’s “Uptown Ladies & Downtown Women” I. From Respectable Peasantry to Progressive Citizenry (Thomas) a. 1807 end of slave trade in British Caribbean (recall Mintz & Brereton) ~legally ended ~not just about wealth extraction, now they are trying to figure out how to civilize former slaves ~slavery—> inefficient labor system *free workers will work harder than forced workers ~soil availability and fertility is lessening, no money *different countries competing for sugar market b. 1834-1838 abolition of slavery in British Caribbean ~slavery is ended as the official system of the BC c. Newly emancipated peasants socialized (by state, schools, & church) to be respectable citizens ~trained to be respectable citizens i. Men 1. Euro-centered values: responsible workers & family men 2. Caribbean Context: high unemployment, dehumanizing poverty, persistent white male promiscuity with black women ~protector of women when white men come in to rape ~sugar economy collapse forces emigration and men go to Panama to build canal, go to Cuba for sugar, US for agriculture, Costa Rica for banana farms ii. Women 1. Euro-centered values: submissive housewives & mothers w/ virtues of home & family 2. Caribbean Context: Must work to support children and other dependents ~1920—> join men in the emigration to make money and becoming central for family networks ~women who stay in Caribbean are called female headed households, high proportion of working mothers iii.Respectability (as defined by Jamaica’s Jubilee/J(Thomas, p. 338; also recall Trouillot) 1. Owning small plot of land in mountains ~plantations were given to former slaves, urban areas are too crowed and living there is not respected 2. Ability to support family through small-scale agri production ~no mass trading or exports, but to make exchanges with neighbors 3. Quiet disposition ~not drinking or excessive, not being noticed 4. Living simply iv.Relative Peasant Independence (Thomas, p. 341) 1. From state ~don’t dependent on the government, British or Jamaican nd th 2. From increasing global capitalist integration (2 half 20 century) ~ owning your own farm sets you apart d. Path to Brown and Black Progress (Thomas, p. 338-45) ~ how do we become something different? upper class? i. Industry, Economy, & Godliness ~working hard—> thoughtful and focused labor ~Economy—> frugality, thrift, and saving ~Godliness—> christian living ii.Growing black middle class 1. status based in education & adherence to Victorian middle-class gender & family ideology ~small scale farming, taking care of family off of the land, artisans, police officers, teachers *doesn’t take much education, just training ~earning money and doing something people need ~receiving status from education, as well as gender 2. Middle & professional class reproduce & institutionalize colonial value system ~no longer need whites to tell us how to be “good” citizens ~trying to live like white people II. Dancehall Culture and the Re-definition of Progress (Thomas; Ulysse) ~moving forward to 80’s when the bottom starts falling out of the economies *start to try something different to gain a higher status ~looks at US for source a. Americanization, Globalization and Jamaican identity i. Multiple meanings ofAmerica (Thomas, p. 345-47) 1. “Land of opportunity” ~coming to our country to have a better life and the caribbean people had this interpretation 2. “Evil empire” a. Land of racism ~”if I go, how will I be treated” ~global wealth and poverty b. Negative cultural influences c. ~Consumerism, individualism, & materialism through media and tourism—> often concerned who these things are coming gin to the country ii.Hegemony & “silent” power ~US influences by our presence ~Gramsci’s concept is hegemony ~relationship based on naturalized power dynamic and force is not necessary to control, appears natural ~consent is necessary to control—> struggling constantly with groups to win consent (give a little, take a little) b. Cultural appropriation as 2-way (though uneven)process i. Jamaican influences on US culture ~especially in regard with blacks and latinos culture ~Dancehall—> DJ style reggae, takin gout the spirituality and replacing it with weed and black power ~talkin back to power ii.Jamaicans re-inscribingAmerican meanings (Thomas, p. 348-49) ~popular cultural is the primary way to speak back to power *through cars, clothes, music and dance, and speech ~trying to reflectAmerican values 1. “Radical consumerism” ~can influence global style though global power ~refashions self-hood, what can a black person achieve? *may not be rich, but I look like I am ~“Modern blackness” as vision for upward mobility in today’s globalized economy by alternate means to Jamaican middle class (Thomas, p. 352) *not trying to be like older generations *no longer term transformation in social, political, economic, it is the change for the individual III. From Hawker-peasant to Beauty-queen? Gendered Class & Raced Space (Ulysse) ~respectable person is living simply in the mountains. How did you get to this point in Jamaica? ~White people are behind walls a. Uptown: Brown & Black professionals & elite ~brown replaces white *replicating what the colonial (white) power did i. Ladies & the legacy of colonial-era color hierarchy (racial construction) ~females = ladies * educated, refined, married/family, femininity(small, well- groomed) trying to speak British english *body language—> no buses, doesn’t walk (in husband’s car) no wining (moving hips in sexual way) 1. Uptown beauty pageants as celebration of “ladies” ~Ulysse shows that beauty is a cultural construct b. Downtown: Black lower class i. Women (ICIs) & female economic empowerment (Ulysse, pp. 158-59) ICI—> Informal, Commercial, Importers *embodiment of ladies *lower class women—> trying to be seen *venture into forbidden spaces—> male spaces, uptown spaces *Women are large, uneducated, loud, unsophisticated ~ICI came in the 1980s, post structural construction *have products from the city or home, and take them out of the country for foreign exchange. *bring back products that your own specific neighborhood needs and sells them for cheap EX. Marcia from “Dancehall Queen” ~ICI is mean for female economic empowerment *discourse of emasculation -men are feeling disempowered by female class ~Dualities *Social Class—> Money, Woman, Downtown, Darkness *Social Status—> Lady, Uptown, Lightness ii.Female body as form of cultural capital in dancehall culture (Ulysse, pp. 158-59) ~Cultural Capital is something that a culture values that can be exchanged for something else ~Men want to posses and control the female body, while women want to display certain body parts. ~Dancehall is making..? ~women are challenging the patriarchal privegle ~Female rappers call themselves a lady 1. In downtown/dancehall context: Beauty as a commodity that provides access to scarce resources EX. Marcia becomes a Dancehall Queen to figure out how to make money for her family ~Challenges the Jamaican beauty standards *raises questions of an alternative value system IV. Implications of Lady/Woman, Beauty/Dancehall Queen Clashes i. Stoosh & infradig (Ulysse, p. 162) ~Stoosh—> Performance of classed disapproval & superiority ~Infradig—>Attitudes that reinforce limits of inter-group fraternization ii.Transcending & reinscribing color-class meanings ~Dancehall Queens try to resist old way of society ~Upper class envy the way the “women” are acceptable of their body image *jealous of the freedom downtown women have 1. ICIs allow lower class women to redefine themselves ~Historically, the under class has always been confined. Here. we see black women define themselves. Friday, October 7, 2016 Recitation Race, Class, Gender, and Culture Change in Jamaica ~Respectable Peasant to Progressive Citizenry *saves trade ends 1807 in British Caribbean *1834-1838 abolition of slavery in British Caribbean *Newly emancipated peasants—> respectable citizens ~Gender respectability *Men -Euro-centered ideal: *Responsible workers *Family Men -Caribbean Reality *high unemployment *extreme poverty *Women *Euro-centered ideal *submissive housewives ~Respectability 1. Owning a small plot of land in the mountains 2. Ability to support family through small-scale agricultural production 3. Quiet Disposition 4. Living Simply ~Black Middle Class Growth *Status based in education and adherence to Victorian ideology 1 Friday, October 7, 2016 *Middle and professional class blacks reproduce and institutionalize European value System -Don’t have white upper class telling them what to do ~Dancehall Culture and Redefining “Progress” *Multiple meanings of “America” -“Land of opportunity” *”Evil Empire” -land of racism -negative cultural influences— consumerism, individualism, materialism *Hegemony and Silent Power -ability to influence power over another without force -relationship based on a naturalized power dynamic— negotiating consent *2 way cultural exchange -Jamaican influences on US and rein scribing american meanings via pop culture -Modern Blackness—> contemporary vision of upward mobility by alternate means to Jamaican middle class *no long term transformations in social, political, or economic hierarchies -Radical Consumption—> rejecting missile class models of progress *creative and liberators potential of consumption Ulysse—> Uptown Ladies, Downtown Women ~Uptown: Brown and Black- professional/ elite *”Ladies” and legacy of colonial era, color hierarchy *Beauty Pageants celebrate “ladies” ~Downtown: Black lower class 2 Friday, October 7, 2016 *”women” *ICI and female economic empowerment -challenge uptown queens in different forms of womanhood *shows sexuality a different way than the “ladies” ~Women and Ladies Clash *Stoosh and infradig -performance of classed disapproval and superiority -attitudes that reinforce limits of fraternization *Transcending and re-inscribing color-class meanings -ICIs allow lower class women to redefine self 3


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