Caribbean Studies

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Defining The Caribbean

* The Geographical Concept:
* Countries lying in and around the Caribbean Sea
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* The Geological Concept:
* Countries lying on the Caribbean plate
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* The Historical Concept:
* Countries sharing the common historical past of European Colonialists *
* The Political Concept:
* Countries sharing the common political experience of European domination ruled from abroad and the struggle for self rule and independence *
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* Flaws of the Concepts
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* The geographical concept – it does not include countries that are part of the Caribbean such as Guyana, Barbados and Bahamas. But it would include countries such as Honduras, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua. *

* The geological concept– the Western edge of the Caribbean plate includes Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama and the Northern end of the plate excludes Cuba, Bahamas, Belize and the southern end of the plate excludes Guyana *

* The historical concept – it divides the Caribbean according to European heritage and linguistic consideration while ignoring the common experiences *
* The political concept- it includes south and central America and ignores the influence of the USA and the fact that outside control still continues *
* Sub –divisions of the Caribbean
* Greater Antilles – they are located south-east of the United States. They are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea and includes four major islands: Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico * Lesser Antilles – long chain of islands wrapped around the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea on the boundary of the Atlantic Ocean. Include the U.S. Virgin islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Bermuda, Montserrat , Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad, Netherland Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Martin) * Lesser Antilles is broken down into the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands * The Windward Islands are the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles. They are called such because they are more Windward than the Leeward Islands given that the prevailing winds in the area blow to the north. * The Windward islands include Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad * The Leeward Islands are the Northern islands of the Lesser Antilles. They are called Leeward because the prevailing winds in the area blow from south to north thus the Leeward islands are down-wind. They are the group of islands that first meet the Tradewinds. * Mainland Territories (not islands but part of a country) – Guyana, Belize, Suriname * Southern Caribbean

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* Society and Culture
* Society – Layman. 1. Collection of people living in a geographical area. 2 Rich and influential individuals and their lifestyles. 3. Abstract moral authority on acceptable behaviour * Society – Sociological. Sociological view is concerned with two terms; interaction, and group membership. Sociologists see members of a society interacting together on the basis of common membership in social institutions and social organizations. * Social institutions – cherished ideas and beliefs we hold in common with others as to how our lives should be organized, for example, family, religion, education * Social organizations – these are the arrangements or groups we form to reflect our cherished ideas and beliefs about life. Eg. Nuclear, extended, single parent families * Simply put society maybe defined as a group of people who share common social institutions and social organizations * Society then provides a frame work or interactions in which culture develops. The patterns of interaction in a society over time allow certain ways of organizing life where some become dominant and others fade. *

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* Society and Culture
* Layman’s View of Culture...
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