Ethnic Cleavage and Closure in the Caribbean Diaspora: Essays on Race, Ethnicity and Class

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Addresses the allegations of racism as one of the major themes in political commentaries in the multi-ethnic Caribbean and its Diaspora. The book advocates an understanding of inter and intra-ethnic class structure as a useful conceptual tool to address the issues of ethnic cleavage, racism, and discrimination, using a power-conflict framework that illustrates that inter and intra-ethnic class structure emphasizes economic stratification, caste, internal colonialism, and a diversity of class-based and Marxist theories.


“It is not often that one is presented with a book that succinctly and deftly dissects the social and political dynamic in the mini diasporic nation-states in the Caribbean with such clarity and force of arguments … This book leaves the reader with a well-informed feeling about colonial and postcolonial analysis, and is required reading, I would contend, for anyone interested in truly understanding how these arrived at their current dilemma. – (from the Foreword) Professor Aubrey W. Bonnett, The College at Old Westbury

“Dr. Misir has made a most welcome addition to the literature of Caribbean social science with his compilation of this book. It deals with enduring and tense issues in Caribbean societies, both in the region itself and beyond, for the Diasporas are both within and without. In addition to his skillful compilation of themes and choice of contributors, Dr. Misir makes a major contribution to the volume himself with characteristic scholarship and commentary of a high order.” – Dr. Colin Brock, University of Oxford

“Dr. Misir’s personal knowledge of the East Indian Diaspora experience in Europe, North America and the Caribbean positions him to speak with conviction, and even passion, on the scope and challenges of that social reality. He offers a firm perspective from within that invokes a response from without as part of an ongoing discourse on race and ethnicity in the Caribbean.” – Dr. J.A. George Irish, City University of New York

Table of Contents

Preface by Prem Misir
Foreword by Aubrey Bonnett
A Note by Janet Jagan
Introduction by Prem Misir
1. Race-Ethnicity and Types of Dominance by Benjamin B. Ringer & Elinor R. Lawless
2. The Changing Alignment Between Ethnicity and Politics by J.G. La Guerre
3. Identity, Nationalism and Elite Domination: The English Speaking West Indies by Percy C. Hintzen
4. Aspirations of Teachers in Guyana: A Comparative Analysis of Working-Class East Indian, African, and Mixed Teachers by Prem Misir
5. Participative Democracy or Party/Race Consolidation?: The 1996 Local Government Elections in Trinidad by Bishnu Ragoonath
6. Occupation and Status Change Among Caribbean Immigrants: Implications for Adjustments and Mental Health by Lear Matthews
7. Caribbean East Indian Immigrants and Politics in Queens, New York by Frankie Ramadar
8. Conflict and Cleavage in Venezuela by Ronald Singh
9. Basdeo Panday: His Struggle Against East Indians as Inverted Racists by Prem Misir

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