Women and Change in the Caribbean

Women and Change in the Caribbean

Edited by Edited by Janet Momsen
Distribution: Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico and United States of America
Publication date: 09/22/1993
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-33896-9
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Recent discussion of postmodern culture describes a movement from center to periphery, privileging cultures that were formerly marginalized. Women and Change in the Caribbean, a study of women marginalized by both gender and race in a region such as the Caribbean—itself marginalized in global terms—attempts to extract insights relevant both within and beyond geographical confines.

This volume offers a feminist interpretation of a multicultural society emerging from colonialism and in the process of change and restructuring. The nineteen chapters include case studies of fifteen different Caribbean territories including Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Grenada, and Guyana. The book is divided into two sections: the first looks at women’s status and gender relations in the private and public spheres; the second looks at women’s economic activity. Taking a broad pan-Caribbean comparative view contributors discuss territories with American, British, Dutch, Danish, French, and Spanish colonial traditions and current political links.

The contributors come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including agriculture, anthropology, economics, geography, history, sociology, and women’s studies.

Author Bio

JANET MOMSEN is Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is chair of the Society for Caribbean Studies and of the International Geographical Union Study Group on Gender and Geography. She is co-author of A Geography of Brazilian Development, co-editor of Geography and Gender in the Third World and of Land and Development in the Caribbean, and author of Women and Development in the Third World.


““The topics are diverse, but the essays consistently meet a high standard of research and clarity. . . . Highly recommended . . . ” —Choice “ . . . a comprehensive and exciting synthesis of recent scholarship . . . significant for its comprehensive scope and its rich empirical base.” —Journal of Political Ecology “This book will become a classic in the on-going project to understand the complex cultures and societies of the Caribbean, particularly the strategies used by women to define, and redefine, their roles.” —Journal of American Ethnic History This study of women marginalized by gender and race in a region itself marginalized in global terms, yields insights relevant both within and beyond the Caribbean.”

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Table of Contents

Preface by Janet H. Momsen
1 Introduction
Janet H. Momsen
Section One
Private & Public Spheres of Women’s Lives
Part 1 The Domestic Domain & the Community
2 Reputation & respectability reconsidered: a new perspective on Afro-Caribbean peasant women
Jean Besson
3 Marriage & concubinage amoung the Sephardic merchant elite of Curacao
Eva Abraham-Van der Mark
4 Changing roles in the life cycles of women in traditional West Indian houseyards
Lydia Mihelic Pulsipher
5 Women’s place is every place: merging domains and women’s roles in Barbuda & Dominica
Riva Berleant-Schiller and William M. Maurer
Part 2 The Intersection of Reproduction & Production
6 Women in Guadeloupe: the paradoxes of reality
Huguette Dagenais
7 The development & role of women’s political organizations in Guyana
Linda Peake
8 Neighbourhood networks & national politics amoung working-class Afro-Surinamese women
Rosemary Brana-Shute
9 The migration experience: Nevisian women at home & abroad
Karen Fog Olwig
10 Migration, development & the gender division of labour: Puerto Rico & Margarita Island, Venezuela
Janice Monk with the late Charles S. Alexander
Section Two
Economic Roles of Caribbean Women
Part 1 Rural Employment
11 Small farm food production & gender in Barbados
Christine Barrow
12 A profile of Grenadian women small farmers
John S. Brierley
13 Women in agriculture in Trinidad: An overview
Indra S. Harry
14 Women & Duban smallholder agriculture in transition
Jean Stubbs
15 Development & gender divisions of labour in the rural Eastern Caribbean
Janet H. Momsen
Part 2 Urban Employment
16 Tranformation in the needle trades: women in garment & textile production in early twentieth-century Trinidad
Rhoda Reddock
17 Gender & ethnicity at work in a Trinidadian factory
Kevin A. Yelvington
18 Women’s contribution to tourism in Negril, Jamaica
Lesley McKay<