Sociology Essay

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“Are contemporary Caribbean societies still plantation societies?” To begin, to determine if contemporary societies are still plantation societies, we need to define what a plantation society is. A plantation society is a particular class of society with distinguishing characteristics of social structure and political organization and laws of motion governing social change. (Barrow and Reddock 2001) It can also be even more simply defined as a social or economic system/institution where the laborers’/ slaves have to execute the will of their owners who are confined to live in it. (Beckford 1972) Yes, it can be said that contemporary Caribbean societies are still plantation societies. Firstly, the plantation society contains both weak and strong variants Wagely, Patterson and Horowitz gave the weak variants of plantation society, they said it is characterized by unstable family units, hierarchical class relations, low levels of community integration and mobile populations often recruited for seasonal work (on the plantation). The strong variants were listed by Beckford, Best, Levitt and Witter; they drew analyses of structural dependencies within the Caribbean on developed countries to get the economy to grow at a rapid pace. Today’s contemporary Caribbean shows very similar characteristics to those of long ago. For instance there are countless unstable family units,(single parent families) the levels of community integration have increased but not to its highest potential and to a great extent class relations are very noticeable and prevalent in Caribbean societies but not as extreme as probably 10-20 years ago. (The economic and political domain is an example on class domain) Secondly, when looking at the strong variants of plantation society, it is observed that a heavy dependency on developed countries definitely exist in today’s contemporary Caribbean societies. The importation of food products, the presence of foreign companies extracting our resources to...
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