• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically discuss the three main models of Caribbean Society

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically discuss the three main models of Caribbean Society. By Name: Dahlia Grosvenor FD13A: Law, Governance, Economy and Society Tutor: Mrs. W. Jones Date: March 22, 2004 Each society is a product of the particular historical forces that shape it and give it form. Therefore, it is essential that in studying any society, in order to grasp a firm understanding of it, it becomes necessary to first study its origins. Throughout the vast literature about the Caribbean, three pervasive theories emerge in an attempt to explain the formation of contemporary Caribbean society. These theories or models have been titled as the Plantation society theory, the Plural society theory and the Creole society theory. The Plantation society theory is an attempt to explain Caribbean social structure in relation to the plantation experience. The plantation experience existed in the Caribbean for over three hundred years, along with which came the institution of slavery. Until the abolitionist movement came about in the 19th century, the Caribbean society was a slave society. Its base was the production of sugar cane, which needed heavy capital investments and cheap labour. This labour constituted at first of white servant labour, the poor whites, and felons of the society, etc. ...read more.

Middle

The distribution of political power is identical to the pattern of social and economic power. Beckford (1972) notes, although slavery has been abolished for over four generations, the basic structure in the New World remains very much the same. The plantation society theory then, gives a moderate understanding of contemporary Caribbean society, explaining in part how the society progressed socially, economically and politically and why it progressed in the way that it has. However, present day Caribbean society is moving away from the plantation slowly but surely and as a result the plantation society theory proves to be inadequate and according to Craig (1982) 'too simple and reductionist'. In an attempt to further explain the Caribbean society, the plural society theory, as applied to the Caribbean by M.G. Smith, maintains that these societies are made up of different cultural sections which all try to maintain their own values and institutions, only interacting in the marketplace for economic transactions. The plural society has come into existence because of the common economic factor. Each section shared the desire for economic advancement. Pluralism can be found in the plantation society whereby labour was extracted from different regions in Africa and also East India with their different cultures, language, social structure, political conditions and even religions and brought together for the purpose of working on the plantation. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be seen in the establishment of the Barbados Landship, the various festivals such as carnival and cropover, the development of calypso, reggae and pan, the Creole languages and dialects of the Caribbean. Creolization however is sometimes seen as a loss of ethnic indigenous cultures and the adoption of inferior ones. The basic facts about Creole societies are that they were rooted in the political and economic dominance of the metropolitan power. It was colour stratified and gave moral and cultural superiority to anything European. However, the social system which grew up in the West Indian territories after emancipation was not European but Creole. Creole society was much more differentiated economically than the plantation society. The working class population was not drawn into the wage and consumer markets. A new class of merchants and shopkeepers constituted an important element in the society. The Windward and the Leeward Islands are an example of Creole society. The three main models of society account for different aspects of the contemporary Caribbean society and therefore give a more complete account of the Caribbean when integrated. However, as individual theories and as attempts to explain present day Caribbean society, they can be seem as limited, inadequate and rigid for an ever changing society, though the Creole society theory maintains the best model at recognising such change. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Political & Economic Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Political & Economic Sociology essays

  1. On the Authority of Montaigne and Rabelais: Questioning Authority in an Unquestionable World.

    truth and reason are qualities which all of mankind shares to use as sources in determining what is right and wrong for each individual. Montaigne quite clearly asserts that "truth and reason are common to all: they no more belong to the man who first put them into words than to him who last did so" (44).

  2. Discuss the main influences in the development of social policy before 1945 with reference ...

    McMillan and Jowet the members of the School Board managed to persuade parliament to commence a legislation to make it compulsory for education authorities to provide meals for children. Despite that a report had been produced that highlighted the fact that 50.000 students were attending school just for food, this

  1. "Changes in word usage and meaning in the English language reflect the evolving nature ...

    This influence on society has resulted in a new vocabulary of words, which have successfully made it into use by the population at large directly because of the development of communication technology. The development of language can be attributed to a change of the position of a dominant majority of

  2. How are cultural values linked to the reproduction of class positions?

    Similarly Willis talks about labour power. As Willis describes labouring 'takes on specific forms and meanings in different kinds of societies' (1977:2) Various processes are applied in order to understand labour power which eventually 'help to construct distinctive class forms at the cultural and symbolic level as well as at the economic and structural level' (Willis 1977:2).

  1. Elvis Presley's impact on US society in the 1950's

    to go through with that and even might of wanted to do the army service any way, but that is less likely. Elvis going into the army would definitely have produced respect as for such a powerful and successful superstar to then serve time for the army shows society that

  2. Critically examine Ritzer's theory of "The Mcdonaldization of Society" giving relevant examples.

    The self-rationalisation and mobility of this aspect of efficiency can be shown by the use of Microwaves, we are so obsessed, he says, with Mcdonaldizing our lives that we buy more so called "efficient" ways of preparing food, but they result is poor diets of microwaveable junk food.

  1. Explain the Difference between Marxist-based and Pluralist models of the Media.

    This need for heavy detail is outlined in Stuart Hall's model of "Encoding/Decoding" when he states: "The second position we would identify is that of the negotiated code or position. Majority audiences probably understand quite adequately what has been dominantly defined and professionally signified...they take 'large views' of issues."

  2. American hunting culture.

    Non-hunters do not fully understand what is like to watch something die in order to feed themselves or the effort involved in hunting. This lack of understanding can often lead to stereotypes of hunters in general. There are some frequent stereotypes associated with hunters.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work