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Caribbean Studies Notes

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caribbean studies notes


Definition of the Caribbean Region


This describes the area washed by the Caribbean Sea and is often described as the Caribbean Basin. It would therefore include most of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles as well as the mainland territories in Central America (Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Honduras) and Northern South America such as Columbia and Venezuela. The common link here is the Caribbean Sea.


There are deep seated structural features of Caribbean geology which also identifies commonalities. It is the area that is defined by the Caribbean Plate and which experiences similar tectonic, seismic and volcanic features and processes.


It describes the area that saw the impact of European colonization, slavery, indentureship and the plantation system. this refers to all the territories so that one way of defining the Caribbean is to identify those countries that experienced the rule of specific European countries. Thus the Caribbean may be defined as being broken up into the English, French, Dutch and Spanish speaking countries and territories.


In the Caribbean at least three types of governmental systems are found. They include Independent States, Associated States and Colonial Dependencies.



Society is a collection of people occupying a defined geographical area over a long period of time.

Society in the Caribbean is often considered the boundaries of a nation state.

The sociological understanding of the term society stresses the interaction amongst its members.


Culture is widely regarded as the way of life for a people.

It is often defined as the learned behavior of a people. Culture is sub divided into material and non-material culture.

Material culture includes the products of people such as their styles of architecture, types of food preparation, economic organizations and their forms of technology.

Non-material culture refers to the cherished values, ideas, beliefs and ideas.

Cultural values refer to a set of rankings people in a society confer on to a myriad of social behaviors.

Norms are standards of behavior that are culturally accepted and emanate from the realm of cultural values that we share.


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity is the existence of sub-cultures within a main culture or different cultures in a larger area such as the Caribbean and the US.

Social Stratification

This is the social arrangement of society based on criteria such as race, wealth and education.

Social Mobility

This is the movement, usually of individuals or groups, from one social position to another within the socially stratified system in any society.


This is the admixture of cultural traits and exchange of values from other cultures.

Cultural Erasure

This is where traits or practices of a culture are no longer practiced over time.

Cultural Retention

This may occur as a result of the deliberate desire to keep traditions alive and help some groups to preserve their sense of identity. It is also defined as the process where past cultural practices are practiced presently.

Cultural Renewal

This is where cultural practices that were once done are being revived or the fashioning of new practices based on those of the past.


Migratory Movements

The ancestors of the pre-Colombian Amerindians may have come out of North Eastern Asia across the frozen Bering Straits to Alaska during the fourth Ice Age some fifteen to twenty thousand years ago. The nomads wandered southwards through North, Central and South America evolving distinct physical and cultural characteristics.

Over hundreds of years the Amerindians moved and some settled. Some of the familiar names are Aztec, Maya and Inca.

The Orinoco Basin and the Guianas in South America were the original homeland of the Caribs and Arawaks who migrated northwards through the Lesser Antilles to the Greater Antilles. By 1492, the main Arawak groups which inhabited the West Indies were the Lucayans in the Bahamas and Tainos in Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and Puerto Rico. The greatest Amerindian civilization flourished on the mainland of Mesoamericas and South America.

It is perhaps the constant movement of people into and out of the Caribbean that led Richardson to refer to a regional migration tradition. This propensity to migrate, he argued, took off immediately after emancipation in the 1830’s when thousands of men and women most notably from smaller islands, migrated to Trinidad and British Guiana in search of higher wages and better conditions. By 1845, more than 10 000 migrants from small West Indian Islands had travelled to Trinidad and over 8000 others had gone to British Guiana. Many of these emigrants eventually returned home displaying the fruits of their labour. This movement continued from a long time as a feature of Caribbean people, that is, to move from small islands of the Eastern Caribbean to larger ones in a complex inter-island migration.

Encomienda System (System of Unfree Labor)

Hispaniola was the first test ground for Spain’s Indian Policy.

Amerindians had to present Columbus with a certain amount of gold each week which were measured in ingots (a calabash full of gold dust)

He made them dive for pearls. Amerindians drowned because they were not accustomed to diving so deep.

Chiefs were hunted and killed by Spanish dogs if they did not adhere to the rules.

Nicholas De Ovando, a Spanish Governor was appointed by the crown to oversee the encomienda system.

The rich Spanish (encomendero) gained jurisdiction over land and they had Amerindians working for them.

Nicholas De Ovando had to protect the Amerindians but he did not do so.

Many Amerindians died of starvation.

In 1510, in Hispaniola, the first Dominican friar arrived to help the Amerindians.

Father Antonio Montesinos on Advent Sunday in 1511 addressed Spanish telling them they were “hypocritical and warped.”

The Law of Burgos (1512-1513) sought to alienate the tension between Spanish and Amerindians.

Bartolome de Las Casas was a former encomendero who had a religious epiphany and freed the Amerindians. He went to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to look to Africa for labor since it was cheap and easily accessible.

The audienca moderated the amount of tribute the slaves had to pay and they functioned like a High Court. (1531-1532)

The New Laws of the Indies (1542) dealt with the prohibition of enslavement of Indians and prevention of doing personal services for encomenderos.

By 1560, encomienda system was partially banned as some encomenderos still practiced the system.

By the second half of the 16th Century, there was a virtual genocide of the Amerindians.

Repartimiento and Yanconaje

Repartimiento was primarily practiced in Central Mexico and Andean Highlands.

Adult males had to do rotation work.

In New Spain, the Repartimiento was called Mita.

There was an encomendero who had to oversee the work usually a rich Spanish.

Yanaconaje was practiced in Peru and Bolivia.

African Slaves

African slaves were accessible, stronger, healthier, less prone to diseases and had knowledge of cultivation.

The journey of slave ships from Africa to the West Indies (Middle Passage) was wrought with horror, waste of human life and was characterized by high mortality rate.

Chattel- African slaves were treated as commodities.

Asiento- a contract between a company and the Spanish Crown.

All forms of colonial labor depended on servitude/ coercion

Economics was the start and end of slavery.

Plantation Society

Race, color, status, occupation, ethnicity affected the social pyramid of the plantation society.

The plantation society is a capitalist type of enterprise in which land is treated like a commodity.


Indentured laborers were assigned contracts in which they were paid wages to work for a specified period of time.

After the contracts expired they were given the option to return to their homelands or to receive a plot of land. Many chose to stay.

Indentureship was supposed to differ from slavery, however, the servants were treated as harshly as the slaves.

Caribbean Reponse to Oppression


Amerindians used bows and arrows with poisoned tips.

Infanticide and Group or Individual Suicide

If caught, they were burnt to the stake


They were intentionally idle on the plantation (Go Slow)

They destroyed valuable machinery

Marronage – Maroons were the runaway slaves who established communities in the hilly terrain of many areas of the Americas. Marronage was not always an option in island communities but existed in large territories where the hilly terrain was ideal for settlements. The most famous Maroons in the Caribbean are found in Suriname, in the Blue Mountains and Cockpit Country of Jamaica and in Las Villas in Cuba. They were successful at defending their liberty and in 1739 the British were forced to sign a treaty of peace.

Movement towards Independence

Foster Commission (1935) in Trinidad and Moyne Commission (1938) looked at the economic situation in each country.

Universal Adult Suffrage –the right to vote

In the 1930s political parties were formed.

Entrepreneurial activities- shop-keeping and saving society (sou-sou)


Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is the study of the movement of plates and their resultant landforms. The crust is made up of two plates, the Continental or Oceanic and they move or float on molten rock.

Types of Plates Margins

Convergent Plate Margin

At these margins two plates move towards each other and it is called a destructive plate margin. At a convergent plate margin, either a collision zone or a subduction zone may be formed. A collision zone occurs where two continental plates collide forming fold mountains. E.g. Eurasian and Indian plates collide to form the Himalayan Mountains. A subduction zone occurs when an oceanic plate collide with a continental plate and the denser oceanic plate is forced under.

At a convergent plate margin volcanoes and earthquakes occur. E.g. the eastern end of the Caribbean Plate along the line of the Lesser Antilles and the North American plate and the Caribbean plate.

Divergent Plate Margin

At this plate margin, the plates move away from each other and is called a constructive plate margin as new crust is formed. This results in gentle volcanis and earthquake activity. Magma is forced upwards and new crust is created. E.g. the Caribbean and North American plates move away from each other to form the Cayman Island Ridge.

Transform Plate Margin

At this plate margin, the plates slide past each other with converging or diverging. It is also called a fault. Volcanic activity does not occur here, instead only seismic activity is experienced. E.g. the Cayman Island Trench.


A volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust through which molten rock, ash, steam etc are ejected.

In the Caribbean:

Mt. Pelee-Martinque

Erupted in 1902, and killed 30 000 people.

A nueeardente (glowing cloud filled with super heated ash and gases) descended on the village and thus suffocated the residents.


Earthquakes are sudden earth movements or vibrations in the earth’s crust. They are caused by the development of faults in the crust which result from collision of plates or from the movement of molten rocks below or within the crust or the sudden release of stress that has slowly built up along the fault plane at a transform plate margin. The focus is the point at which the earthquake originated. The epicenter is the point on the surface of the earth directly above the focus.

Risks involved with Earthquakes


The ground vibrates during an earthquake. Waves travel outwards from side to side. Walls may crack and windows may break. Utility poles fall and buildings collapse.

Ground Fissures

The ground splits and cracks.


Liquefaction is the process whereby reclaimed land or loose sediments behave like a liquid during an earthquake.



Port Royal- Jamaica (1692)

The entire city of Port Royal slumped into the sea as a result of liquefaction.

Over 3000 people died as a result.

Kingston Jamaica (1907)

Registered a 6-6.5 on the Richter scale

Caused fires

800 deaths

85% buildings destroyed

Ground fissures over 15cm apart

Jamaica (1993)

5.4 on the Richter scale

2 deaths

Triggered landslides

More than 500 homes destroyed

Dominica (2004)

6.3 earthquake

3 historic churches destroyed

Hospital damaged


Wall collapsed

Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami (2004)

Occurred off the island of Sumatra

Upward displacement of 10m

Tsunami travelled at speed of 800km/h


A hurricane is a low pressure system formed in warm waters. All hurricanes develop over the sea. They do not develop close to the equator as they require a surface temperature of 27 degrees.

Before a hurricane

Calm weather, high humidity and strong swells

As hurricane approaches, cloud cover builds up and winds intensify

During a hurricane

Wind strongest near the eye of the storm

Eye: calm, down draught of warm air

Wind drops suddenly after eye passes and starts again

After a hurricane

Wind speeds gradually drop

Heavy rain may continue

Wind damage

40% increase in wind speed doubles the destructive power

Wave damage

Waves may reach 8m high

May be severe beach erosion

Marine life damaged or killed

Corals damaged

Coastal structures damaged

Ships and boats at risk

Storm surge

Near eye of major hurricane sea levels are several metres above normal

Strengthened as approaches shore


Flooding by slowly rising waters (Caroni, Barrackpore)


Triggered where steep hills are sodden with rain

Hurricane Ivan in Grenada ( September 2004)

80-90% houses damaged or destroyed

5000-6000 slept in shelters

Power lines brought down

Water supply contaminated

Recently built national stadium destroyed

Most schools damaged

90% nutmeg trees destroyed

90% trees fell

Roads blocked and airport closed

Landline phone and radio transmitters down

1700 hotel rooms, 300 available

Prison roof blown off


Soil is the uppermost layer of loose material on top of the orck which makes up the surface of the earth. It consists of tiny oarticles derived from the broken down fragment of rock together with humus.

Soil erosion

Soil may be eroded by:

1. Soil compaction by grazing animals and machinery

2. Deforestation

3. Over grazing

4. Over use of artificial fertilizer

5. Monoculture

6. Slash and burn cultivation

7. Forest fires

8. Bad agricultural practices

Soil conservation

Soil may be conserved by:

1. Terracing

2. Mulching

3. Wind breaks

4. Contour ploughing/drainage

5. Crop rotation

6. Canopy cover

7. Cover cropping

8. Intercropping

9. Reforestation

Coral Reefs

How are coral reefs formed?

1. The main frame of the reef is built up by coral polyps whish are small soft bodied creatures which use calcium carbonate dissolved in water to build up a hard casing of limestone to protect themselves.

2. These tiny polyps live in colonies or large groups.

3. Layer after layer of limestone is added to the colony as new polyps build on top of the structure.

4. Other organisms also live on the reef and these creatures produce hard skeletons which help to build up the structure of the reef around the framework of the coral.

5. Only the surface layer of the reef is made up of live coral.

6. Between the reef and the shore, there is usually a shallow lagoon. The floor of this is made up of sand, dead coral and rubble.

7. On the seaward side, the reef slopes down more steeply. At the base of this slope there will also be an accumulation of sand and rubble.

Conditions in which coral reefs grow

1. The temperature of the water should be between 21 and 30 degrees Celsius. Thus is why there are few coral reefs outside the tropics or in places where there are cold sea currents.

2. Corals mat be killed where the water is too hot.

3. Sunlight must be able to penetrate where the coral is growing. Corals grow only in fairly shallow water. The exact depth depends on the clarity of the water.

4. Coral grow where the water has the right amount of salt. Few reefs are near the mouth of rivers.

5. Corals need to grow in clean water. Muddy water damages coral because it shuts out sunlight and because silt particles choke the coral polyps. Organic growth of other organisms are promoted. Organic pollution damage coral. Corals may be starved from lack of oxygen or smothered in algae. When the growth of the coral is held back, it often becomes diseased and may die.

Types of Coral Reefs

1. Fringing Reefs- This type of reef consists of a platform of coral which is connected to and which is built out from the coast. The surface of the platform is usually flat or slightly concave and its outer edge drops away steeply to the surrounding seafloor. A shallow lagoon usually occurs between the coast and the outer edge of the reef. Buccoo Reef is an example of a fringing reef.

2. Barrier Reef- A barrier reef is similar to a fringing reef except that it is situated several kilometers off the coast and is separated from it by a deep, water lagoon. The coral of a barrier reef is often joined to the coast although the lagoon may be too deep for coral to grow on its bed. In some cases, fringing reefs develop on the inner side of lagoons which lie between a barrier reef and the coast of the island.

3. Atolls- Atolls tend to form horseshoe shapes or rings. The reef surrounds a deep lagoon. Atolls occur off the coast of Belize.

Importance of coral reefs to the Caribbean

1. They protect the coastline from wave erosion and they dissipate wave energy.

2. A rich source of marine flora and fauna-a marine ecosystem

3. Promotes tourism. E.g. scuba diving and snorkeling therefore provides income and earns foreign revenue

4. Source of sand for beach when reefs break down.


Droughts are caused by a lack of rain over a long period of time. If rain does occur, it usually isn’t enough for the ground to absorb therefore it is evaporated again.



The family is the most fundamental universal social institution and has several functions. These include reproduction, socialization, economic unit to supply basic needs and emotional and psychological support. The family ought to be the first to instill in a child attitudes, norms and values so that his or her own behavior can be developed.


The primary function of the education system is to promote socialization of young people. Schools transmit a society’s values, attitudes, beliefs, norms, specific skills and system of knowledge to young people. It also recruits young people for specific occupational and social roles in society. They also help to keep people out of the labor market and it promotes technological change in society by providing the basis of knowledge and skills that enable technological innovation to occur.


Religious institutions meet any basic human needs that are not met by the other institutions. They deal with the ultimate human concerns of life and death. It provides a set of beliefs that explains and interprets occurrences in the social and physical environment that cannot be explained by other means. They also serve as a basic human need for providing people with ethical principles, morality and a set of guidelines for appropriate behavior. They also provide a set of beliefs for interpreting the causes and consequences of a person’s past, present and future conducts. Religious institutions provide people with an identity as members of a specific group and a sense of connectedness with the past and future/ it provides emotional support and consolation in the face of uncertainty, anxiety, defeat, alienation and disappointment.

The Justice System

The justice system has three main features:

1. The use of prisons and policing

2. The informal system which involves diversion and rehabilitation

3. Surveillance


Imports from Canada, US and Europe

• Foods- fresh and packaged

• Electronic items

• Motor vehicles

• Computers

• Appliances

• Films, videos, cable T.V.

• Music, entertainment

• Books, magazines, software

• Clothes

• Consultants, experts, advisors

Exports from Caribbean

• Oil

• Natural gas

• Foods-fresh, packaged and agricultural produce

• Fish

• Clothes

• Music, Carnival costumes, songs, artists, performers

• Migrants, students, tourists

The Westminster System

The government is chosen by the democratically elected Lower House.

The head of government is the Prime Minister who leads the Cabinet which is responsible for the Lower House.

An opposition exists, led by the leader of the party with the second largest number of votes in the Lower House.

There is a career public service which impartially serves the government of the day.

The armed services are outside politics and act on the instructions of the government.

The rule of law prevails with an independent judiciary subject to the constitution.

Impact of Caribbean Cultural Practices Abroad

1. Notting Hill Carnival-United Kingdom

2. Caribana Festival- Toronto

3. Brooklyn Labor Day

4. Point Fortin Day- New York

All met with resistance in the beginning but then tourism became enticing


• Soca, reggae, calypso

• Chutney, Tassa

• Steelpan (Pan European Association responsible for creating a network to promote the development of pan in Europe.)

Impact of Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism evolved as a cult in Jamaica. The cult perfected in 1930’s and leaders such as Marcus Garvey stimulated this movement with their belief in racial dignity. Rastafarians form tribes and live in communes with each tribe having a leader who possesses power over all other tribe members. Within the Rastafarian religion women are regarded as inferior to men and exist only for their pleasure. Often times, the women folk are seen walking behind their men and never in front or even to the side. This has evolved in modern times where the women are treated equally.

How Caribbean Art and Culture contribute to the Development of our Caribbean

Reflect our everyday experiences of physical and social environments e.g. Derek Walcott (St. Lucia) intertwines the physical aspect of the Caribbean in his poems

Represent important aspects of our history e.g. Bajan writer George Lamming wrote a book the Pleasures of Exile (1960) where he writes about the struggle to reclaim our voice with reference to European colonizers and Sculpture “Negro Aroused” by Jamaican sculptor Edna Manley (1935) showed workers from Jamaica rising from oppression

Economic development e.g. Carnival, Crop Over festival

However in order to promote economic development we have to use modern technology namely an international reggae festival launched on the internet.

-What are some of the dangers we face when we begin to adapt our arts and culture to make them attractive to persons outside of the Caribbean?

-How might packaging them appropriately to suit these new technologies change their character?

-Will we lose important that make them our own?

-What sorts of policies might Caribbean governments need to put in place to ensure that while the arts and popular culture are properly developed we also protect what they reflect of our actual heritage?

-How can we ensure that our artists and cultural entrepreneurs develop skills that will provide them with employment and help them to survive and prosper economically?



Sustainable Development

This is a concept of advancing people’s quality of life, assessing such advance in terms of economic criteria as well as human dynamics, particularly the conservation and protection of the environment.

This is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Development addresses:


Human Rights Violations

Sexual Prejudice

Environmental Destruction

Elements of Sustainable Development

1. Society- social institution, democratic system of government, resolving differences

2. Environment- awareness of the fragility of the environment, availability of resources

3. Economy- sensitivity to the limits and potential of economic growth and the impact on society and environment.

4. The impact of globalisation on development- foreign trade, WTO, IMF, World Bank, Trans-National Corporations.

Economic Development

This is the development of the production of goods and services in a country.

Indicators of Development

GNP/ capita


Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Employment levels

Economic structures such as primary, secondary and tertiary sectors

The level of local and foreign debt

Levels of foreign aid receipts

Non-economic indicators of Development

Life expectancy

Levels of education

Ratio of doctors to the population

Labor productivity

Distribution of income

Improved institutions and attitudes


Birth rate

Death rate

Growth and Development

Growth is the all round expansion of the economy. It can be measured in GNP which reflects the general increases in total output. Examples of growth include advances in technology, quality of life, standard of living education, health care etc.

Development is the qualitative concept concerned with the pattern of economic change. In order to have development, there must be growth.

Economic Growth

Economic growth is affected by:

Rate of investment

Rate of increase in the working population

Technological development

Balance of payments

Role of government and government expenditure

Balance of Payment

Balance of Payment = (Money made+ Money Brought In) - (Money Sent Out)

If Balance of payment,

Positive- Favorable Economic Growth

Negative- Less Economic Growth

Zero- No Economic Growth

Features of underdevelopment

Poor economic performance

High rates of population growth

Low standard of living

Relatively short life expectancy

High unemployment

High crime rates

Poor educational opportunities

Considerable dependence on agriculture

High infant mortality rate

Problems of Development

Economic dualism- division of the economy into two distinct and radically different sectors


Size of population



The role of education

The role of information technology

CARICOM- problems of regional trade

Structural adjustment


1. Most Caribbean countries have the legacy of slavery and this has stratified the society under factors of economic status, race, color, education, wealth and marriage. Because of this there is a sense of inferiority and superiority among the classes which in turn hinder development.

2. Unfair discrimination other than by merit hinders development. A person should not be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, status or creed. Where such discrimination exists, low levels of production will occur.

3. A country with high levels of crime and violence can generate a fear throughout the population. As a result, productivity is diminished and distorted and the development is hindered.

4. Access to education and training is critical in assessing the development of a country.

5. Health care should be a priority of the government as unhealthy workers will spend less time at work and therefore they will be less efficient than expected.

6. Technology allows for increased knowledge. Knowledge can help to promote development as new and modern techniques can be implemented.



This is the growth and intensification of political, economic, social and cultural relations across national borders.

Six global factors are:

1. Submission to an economic model

2. Constriction of capital flow

3. Access to more markets

4. Removal of preferential trade

5. Erasure and/or hybridization of culture

6. Deepening of social inequality

Impact of Golabilsation

Globalization impacts:




IMF (International Monetary Fund)

The IMF was established in December 1945 in the aftermath of World War II as there was the need to have an agency to stabilize the international monetary system.

For the lending and disbursement of funds, certain stipulations apply, all of which fall within the economic philosophy of free market capitalism.

World Bank/International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

This was established around the same time as the IMF.

The World Bank focused on specific projects lending.

Both the IMF and the World Bank were designed to help countries recover form the effects of World War II.

GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) now WTO

GATT was founded in 1947 with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

The main purpose was the promotion of free trade

Its principal function has been to encourage compliance of trade agreements, lowering barriers to trade, and focusing on tariffs.

Multi-national corporations

Also called Trans-National Corporations and these are businesses that carry out at least 25% of production internationally.

Example of Multinational Corporations in the Caribbean

Cable and Wireless





Holiday Inn




Price Waterhouse


1. Employment can be created

2. Increase of foreign exchange

3. Transfer of technology


1. MNCs may use their power in the markets to drive domestic producers out of business

2. They buy few or none of their raw materials, instead they are imported

3. Technologies and skill brought by MNCs may be severely guarded.



British West Indian Federation idea came up again in Montego, Jamaica in 1947.

Decided that Trinidad would be the site for the West Indian Parliament which upset Jamaican delegates who said Port of Spain was too far away.

Princess Margaret declared the Federal Parliament open in 1958.

Most urgent problem facing the Federal Government was to identify a source of funding for the smaller islands who had little to fall back on.

Important Objectives

Strengthen the movement for self government.

Safeguard the democratic system of government.


Facilitated the movement form colonialism to independence through a united voice.

Coming together of smaller states and strengthen their effectiveness in dealing with larger bodies.

Reasons for Failure

Masses were not educated about the Federation

Communication among islands (postal, shipping) were inefficient

Petty rivalry among member states

Distrust by smaller states for the larger bodies.


Heads of Government meeting in December 1965 confirmed the agreement to achieve a Free Trade Area

Agreed name: Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA)


Caribbean Community and Common Market came into effect in August 1st 1973.

Signed by Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago and was known as the Treat of Chaguaramas.

Eight other countries joined CARICOM

Bahamas- 13th state on July 4th 1983

Suriname- 14th state on July 4th 1995

Concentrated on the promotion of Integration of the economics of member states

OECS(Organization of Eastern Caribbean States)

July 4th 1981

The states close proximity to each other would facilitate integration and co operation.


Co-operation among member states at regional and international levels.

Promotion of unity and solidarity among member states and defending their sovereignty and independence

Promotion of economic integration through the Eastern Caribbean Common Market

Arranging for overseas representatives to work together for common foreign policy objectives

ACS(Association of Caribbean States)

Main objectives

To strengthen co-operation and integration among members through increased economic activity by trading raw materials and finished products among members

To preserve the Caribbean environment

To conduct joint negotiations on external economic relations

ACS Initiative

Intra-ACS trade seeks to increase the flow of goods between members

Co-operative functions

External economic relations

ACS was envisioned to

Provide a unique opportunity for pursuing a range of objectives that relate to a shared patrimony of the Caribbean sea and seaboard making provisions for their use on a sustainable basis

Address ecological and environmental questions

Institute measures to control the spread of diseases

Provide mechanisms for prevention and control of toxic waste emissions

Gather information for the control of drug trafficking activities within the area

CSME(Caribbean Single Market and Economy)

Includes the negotiations of protocol which will efficiently amend the treaty of Chaguaramas

Came into force on July 4th 1997

Benefits of the CSME

Increasing trade and exchange of goods in an assured market of over 5 million persons creating opportunities for employment, investment and trade

Improved services provided by enterprises and individuals including transportation and communications

Greater opportunity for travel

Expanded scope for artistes to showcase their goods and services

Opportunities for nationals to study in CARICOM countries and to work in the country of their choice


Established in 1972 to develop a system of regional examinations at the Ordinary and Advanced Levels to replace the London General Certificate of Education

In 1981 the first examinations were held in 5 subjects

In 1998 the council had 7 examinations at the Advanced Level


Created a regional institution in 1948

University College at Mona Jamaica was the first campus of University

Campus was established in St. Augustine in Trinidad in 1960

Cave Hill Campus Barbados in 1962

Eleven University Centers situated in non-campus countries throughout the region as well as a Center for Hotel Tourism and Management in the Bahamas

UWI plays a critical role in the education advancement of the region


First suggested at an official level in July 1966 at the Canada West Indies Prime Ministers’ meeting in Ottawa

Formal agreement establishing the CBD was signed in Kingston Jamaica on 18th October 1969 at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries from 18 countries and territories

Agreement was to come into force on the 26th January 1970 and Secretary General of the UN acted as the Depository for the agreement where the government of Barbados was appointed as Trustee

First meeting of the Board of Governors of the CDB was held in Nassau on 31st January 1970 and Professor Sir Arthur Lewis was elected as the first President of the Bank


Based in Barbados

Has seen the introduction of regional news that emanates from a source that has regional overage as its primary mandate without having to compete with the international sources for coverage


Responsible for the administration and organization of cricket in the region

Comprises representatives from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands

Headquarters held in Antigua and Barbados


Served as an integrating force in the Caribbean: different races and classes come together


Served as a boost of morale and identity of West Indian people

While cricket has a special place in the West Indian consciousness there are other areas that need to be capitalized on. E.g. we should perform better at swimming and water sports given the fact that we are islands

Performance in athletics far outstrips the level of support and infrastructure

We need programmes and infrastructure from the school and community levels up to the national level

Making a living from sport

Aside from cricket few other sporting disciplines afford Caribbean people to make a living

Coaches, sport psychologists, physical education instructors, physical therapists

Sports equipment and goods has become a lucrative business


Mass media are those channels that can be used to communicate messages to a large number of people simultaneously.

Major Role

1. To enhance communication among members of a society and of the global village. They have their major functions: to inform, to entertain, to make us visible to others

2. To let individuals know what is going on in their immediate environment and in their wider community

3. To lessen countries feelings of remoteness providing an adequate supply of news from and to these areas

4. To ensure that programs of public education are effectively implemented

5. To support the school curriculum

6. To provide entertainment e.g. TV, radio stations

7. To make ourselves visible to others which in turn promote economic development

Factors affecting the media performance

1. The availability of communication technologies: satellite, computing, optic, laser and digitalizing technology

2. Media rights and privileges

3. Professional training: CARIMAC- Caribbean Institute of Mass Communication

4. Dominance of foreign media e.g. 76% of Jamaica and 95% of Montserrat’s programming is imported.



It is a socio political world view as well as a movement which seeks to unify and uplift both native Africans and those of the African diaspora. It is part of a global African community. It is usually seen as a product of the African slave trade. Pan-Africanism sets aside cultural differences, asserting the principality after sharing experiences to foster solidarity and resistance to exploitation.

The calling of the first Pan African Congress occurred in 1900. Marcus Garvey founded The Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1914. The emergence of a Marxist state in 1917 threw into the political and ideological ring the challenge of social analysis perceived principally as class struggle. Color became a problematic element. The issue of class and race remained unresolved theoretically for Caribbean Marxists, by some, largely ignored, was connected to Pan Africanism.


It is a literary and political movement that developed in the 1930’s. The Negritude writers found solidarity in a common black identity as a rejection of French colonial racism. They believed that the shared black heritage of members of the African Diaspora was the best tool in fighting against French political and intellectual hegemony and domination.

The movement was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance particularly the work of African American writers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright whose work addressed themes of blackness and racism. Further inspiration came from the black culture and history of Haiti. Key figures include Paulette Nardal, Jane Nardal, Dr. Leo Sajoo, Martiniquan poet Aime Cesaire, Leon Damas, Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.

The term Negritude was first used by Aime Cesaire in the 1930s while in Paris, discussing the status of blacks with fellow international French students, Leopold Senghor of Senegal and Leon Gontran-Damas of Cayenne. Their concern at the time was how to recover black pride and dignity from white intellectual assault.

Industrialization by Invitation

Industrialization by invitation was a term coined by Sir William Arthur Louis. Arthur Louis believed that manufacturing could emerge whether or not there was a regional manufacturing class throughout the Caribbean. Louis re-iterated the idea that industrialization was only possible if there was foreign investment.

Louis’ reason for this was that industrialization was expensive and export promotions required breaking into foreign markets and building new distribution outlets. This could only be done if islands concentrated on inviting manufacturers who are well established in foreign markets. Once an increase in foreign direct investment is attracted, the private sector’s income will increase. He referred to this strategy as “Industrialization by Invitation.” Some of Louis’ strategy can be seen in the economic reform of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. After World War II, the People’s National Party in Jamaica called for industrial development programs. Some of these programs were encouraged by the Norman Manley Government. In the 90’s Jamaica privatized it’s industries in the period 1972-1995. Industrialization by invitation was interpreted by competing political leaders in the search for the key to development of Jamaica’s economy.

From 1962, Dr. Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago proposed and eventually implemented Dr. Louis’ economic strategy of industrialization by invitation. This led to the development of a booming manufacturing and petrochemical sector in Trinidad and Tobago.

In Puerto Rico, the government launched “Operation Bootstrap” in 1948. The basis of this policy indicated that the Puerto Rico government provided incentive for industries in the US to locate in Puerto Rico. The incentives included exemption from Puerto Rican taxes from ten to thirty years and the provision of infrastructure, factory building and trained workers.


1. Rapid structural changes

2. Economic reform in the case of Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago- industry overtook agriculture by generating most of the GDP.

3. Repatriation of profits to home countries of the industry

4. Pollution

5. Exploitation of the labor force by keeping them at minimum wage

Positive impact

1. Offered Jobs

2. Industrialize country providing a revenue generating sector


Marxist Theory arose in a capitalist world and as an analysis of that world as well as antidote prescription for diagnosed ills. Marx the social philosopher and Lenin the field officer gave the world inherent tensions of Marxism.

Seven basic characteristics of Marxism:

1. Centralized authority- Marxism is a power focused system and the initial effort of it emergence is about the obtaining of or seizing political power. All basic communal or national necessities must be in the controlling hands of leaders of the state. This principle is socioeconomic and political theory developed by German philosopher Karl Marx in the nineteenth century.

2. Revolutionary character

3. Anti-imperialist rhetoric

4. Scientific principles

5. Historical rootedness

6. Enforcement leadership

7. Sublime end

Caribbean Marxism

Marxism is important to this region. The issue of race complicated the adoption of Marxism in the Caribbean. British Caribbean Marxists linked the problems of class and race. The European thinkers were fixed on Marxism as having essentially, even supremely, a class character, and so the issue of race was at best secondary and often subsumed.

Caribbean perspective on British Capitalism

Capitalism was introduced into the Caribbean with the first trans-shipment of Black African Slaves across the Atlantic. According to Walter Rodney, this type of capitalism was one-sided. It was non-negotiable for two fundamental reasons. The first is that Africans had little or no say in the system and the second is that the system was forced upon the Africans.

Capitalism in its simplest terms means free market enterprise. This system is a means of organizing the economy whereby the exchange of goods and services is done according to the forces of the market, that is, demand and supply.

Capitalism boasts of two major ideals:

1. Private owned capital and investment

2. Profit making

Eric Williams was one of the first persons to link slavery and Capitalism. He argued that slavery was purely economic and it embodied the Capitalist ideal of the British.

The only form of Capitalism which the British taught in the Caribbean was slavery and colonialism. When both were no more useful to the British, they discarded them. Both slavery and colonialism were maintained through a system of torture and coercion. CLR James pointed out that the system of slavery and colonialism had to be brutal to ensure that the system of Capitalism worked and worked well. The brutality was not only mental but psychological. The black West Indian was constantly reminded of his/her blackness and this blackness was closely linked to backwardness.

British capitalism only involved the Caribbean to the extent that the position of the Caribbean performed only to the needs of the British government, nothing more. The forced arrangement was that the Caribbean produced and the British consumed.

Trends in Caribbean feminist thought

A simple definition of a feminist is one who advocates the recognition of rights for women rather than the mere granting of the privilege.

Throughout the world, males are in charge and have been in charge for centuries. Women have fared badly under males. During slavery, women were abused sexually and their resistance was largely individual such as infanticide, abortion, arson or even murder.

The struggle of women to be treated justly is a necessity for the proper morality of any society. Women are not asking for special rights and privileges. Their priority is for treatment deserving as human entitlement.


Social justice is based on a premise that all people are entitled to the same basic rights and freedom as everybody else.

Equality refers to efforts to treat everyone in a similar way

Equity attempts to ascertain whether the treatment is fair or just.

Evolution of Social Justice in the Caribbean

The traditional notions of civil society did not apply to the Caribbean region in early colonial times

The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) that purported to divide the world between Spain and Portugal laid the foundation for colonial exploration and expansion in the Caribbean region by other imperial powers

The Treaty of Ryswick 1697 established the principle of no peace beyond the line which reinforced that whatever applied in Europe between the European powers did not apply to the Caribbean

The area beyond the line to which the treaty referred was the west of the prime meridian and south of the Tropic of Cancer. As a result the Caribbean was established as a zone of war in which even the basic assumption of a civil society did not apply.

Equality was not a principle that applied in the colonial state. This manifested itself in the introduction of exploitative labor systems and led to the recognition of slaves as both people and property

After the emancipation of slave in 1834 and the failure of the apprenticeship in 1838 the concept of people as property was removed. However the indentureship systems limited the freedom of movement as indentured workers needed to have passes to leave their estate.

Indentureship ended in 1917

The Universal Adult Franchise was first implemented in Jamaica in 1944 and in Trinidad and Tobago in 1946 and later in the other territories. It gave all persons older than 21 years the right to vote regardless of ownership or rental of property or levels of income.

Movements toward real social justice came with the introduction of the Bill of Rights in constitutions of the newly independent countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean starting with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in 1962.

The Bill of Rights were chapters in their constitutions that recognized, declared and protected the fundamental human rights and freedom of the individual in all societies

Fundamental Human Rights and Freedom

The inclusion of a Bill of Rights in the constitutions of independent countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean affords the citizen the power to redress any infringement of his/her constitutional rights through the use of the court system.

All of the independent territories of the Commonwealth Caribbean have Bill of Rights which are enshrined and protected in their constitutions.

All the independent territories except Trinidad and Tobago have followed the format of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom for the inclusion in their constitution.

The Council of Europe drew up this Convention in 1950

Trinidad and Tobago copied the formula of the Canadian Bill of Rights 1960 for the inclusion in its constitution in 1962 and retained this model when it became a republic in 1976

The Bill of Rights diminished the effect of the Westminster doctrine of the Supremacy of Parliament. It also places constraints on executive action. The doctrine of the supremacy of the constitution applies to all of the constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

The Entrenchment of the Constitutions

The constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean are all protected from easy amendment by the entrenchment of their positions.

The Parliaments of the region cannot amend all of the sections of their constitutions by a simple majority because this is one of the various checks and balances that have been placed in the constitution to protect it from political abuse or amendment.

There are three main types of entrenchment in the constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean:

Special majorities in the Parliament- all of the constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean have this procedure which specifies that certain sections of the constitution require special majorities in the Parliament.

Approval of bills for amendment by referenda- some of the constitutions of the Commonwealth Caribbean require that certain bills that seek to amend the constitution be subjected to the approval of a referendum after they have been passed in Parliament.

Time delay procedures between readings of a Bill of Amendment- some of the constitutions of the commonwealth Caribbean specify that there should be a period of 90 days between the first and second readings of a bill that seeks to amend the constitution before the head of state gives his/her assent to the bill. The effect of such a delay is that the Parliament cannot consider any bill to amend the constitution hurriedly and more time is given for a deeper consideration of the proposed amendment by the wider society.

The Caribbean Court of Appeal

The Caribbean Court of Appeal is intended to be a replacement for the Privy Council as the final court of appeal for the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean

The Caribbean Court of Appeal faces critical issues such as budget, the method of selecting judges, the location of the headquarters, the status of a circuit court or maintaining a fixed location and the confidence of the Caribbean public.


1. Atlantic Slave Trade- the commercial buying of Africans from West Africa crossing the Atlantic Ocean, to be sold to plantation owners in the western hemisphere.

2. Chattel slavery- form of slavery where people are owned as property and can be bought or sold

3. Communism- a theory of a society where all property should be owned by the community or state and labor organized for the common good.

4. Cultural accommodation- acceptance of aspects of or traits or traits of foreign cultures

5. Cultural assimilation- integration of aspects of or traits of foreign cultures into local culture

6. Cultural beliefs- ways of thinking common to a group people from a specified geographical area

7. Cultural diversity- the existence of sub-cultures within a main or different culture

8. Cultural domination- where a culture of one country is pervasively influencing a local culture

9. Cultural erasure- where traits of a culture are no longer practiced over time

10. Cultural expressions- ways in which one’s culture is demonstrated

11. Cultural hybridization- the admixture cultural traits and exchange of values from other cultures

12. Cultural norms- the standards of behavior that are accepted and shared by members of a society

13. Cultural pluralism- where minority cultures exist alongside a main culture

14. Cultural renewal- where cultural practices that were once done are being revived or the fashioning of new practices based on those of the past

15. Cultural retention- where past cultural practices are practiced presently

16. Cultural relativism- the comparison between cultures based on the notion that no culture is superior

17. Diaspora- the dispersion and distribution of members of a race or society

18. Repartimiento- a Spanish labor system where a percentage of the male population of any village between the ages of 18-60 could be recruited to work for a Spanish settler for a week or fortnight

19. Social stratification- the social arrangement of society based on criteria such as race, wealth and education

20. Sugar revolution- the period where sugarcane production and processing was the main economic activity in the western hemisphere.

21. Common market- a form of economic integration where restrictions on the free movement of commodities, capital and labor among member states are abolished and a common external tariff is established

22. Cultural imperialism- one country’s imposition on another directly or indirectly, of it’s value system

23. Development- the sustained high level of economic and social well being or standard of living. Development was traditionally defined as the ability of a country to advance economically, as measured by increments in its GNP per capita. Today the concept has been broadened to recognize the Human Development Index that includes assessments such as life expectancy, literacy and educational attainment-quality of life indicators.

24. Economic growth- the increase in the production of goods and services in a country over one year

25. Free Trade Area- an agreement between countries to abolish tariff and minimize restriction of trade between but set restrictions against outside countries

26. Globalization- the growth of a single, unified world financial market where geography plays a diminishing role

27. Industrialization- a country or area where there are a large number of factories and the use of technology

28. Inter Monetary Fund- a specialized agency of the United Nations that seeks to maintain monetary stability and to assist member states in funding balance of payment deficits.

29. North American Free Trade Agreement- agreement made in 1983 that brought together Mexico, Canada and the United States together as a free trade zone

30. Popular culture- the range of expressions of creativity, artifacts accessible to, produced by, and enjoyed by the majority of people in a society

31. Single market- the joining of economies in a free trade area

32. Social justice- the fair and equitable treatment of all class of people

33. Tariffs- taxes levied on imported goods

34. Treaty- a contract between states, relating to peace, truce, alliance, commerce, or other international relations

35. White collar crime- deviant or corrupt behavior by people of very high social standing in society


1. Name of country

2. Population size

3. Size of island

4. Language spoken

5. History of the island

6. Type of government and details of government

7. Relief of the land- vegetation, soil, rock

8. Crops grown

9. Types of industry

10. Weather patterns

11. Foods

12. Festivals and celebrations


Definition of research

Research is an activity that entails formal, systematic processes for carrying out a scientific method for analysis.

Characteristics of Research

1. Is directed towards the solution of a problem.

2. Emphasizes the development of generalizations, principles or themes that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences.

3. Is based upon observable or empirical evidence, selects valid data gathering procedures, and uses mechanical. Electronic or psychometric devices to refine observation, description and analysis of data.

4. Involves gathering new data from primary or firsthand sources, or using existing data for a new purpose. Merely recognizing or restating what is already known and has already been written is not considered research since it adds nothing to what is known.

5. Is rigorous and systematic.

6. Tries to be logical and to apply every possible test to validate procedures employed, data collected and conclusions reached.

7. Is carefully recorded and reported. Each important term is defined, limiting factors are acknowledged, procedures are described in detail and references are carefully documented.

Purposes of research

Basic Research- The findings of this type of research informs the development of broad generalizations or principles.

Applied Research- The goal of this type of research is to improve products and processes. Theory is tested in actual situations.

Action Research- this is focused on immediate application. It places emphasis on current problems in a local setting. Its findings are evaluated in terms of local applicability and not necessarily universal validity.

Types of research

Historical Research

Describes what was. Entails investigating, recording, analyzing and interpreting the events of the past for the purpose of discovering generalizations that help us to understand both the past and present and possible implications for the future.

Descriptive Research

This type of research describes, records, analyses and interprets conditions that presently exist. It entails some type of comparison or contrast and attempts to discover relationships between existing variables.

Experimental research

This type of research focuses on variable relationships and describes what happens when the variables are carefully controlled or manipulated. Deliberate manipulation is always a part of the experimental method.

Qualitative Studies

These are studies that use a numerical method of describing observations of materials or characteristics.

Quantitative Studies

These are studies in which the description of observations is not ordinarily expressed in quantitative terms. Numerical measure may be used but other means of description are emphasized.

Sampling Procedures

Types of sampling procedures

1. Simple Random Sample- where subjects are selected by lottery or by use of random numbers.

2. Stratified Sample- where the population is stratified according to lists of units divided into groups or strata according to an appropriate variable.

3. Quota Sampling- this approach entails stratified sampling in which the selection within the strata is non random, once the general breakdown of the sample is determined.

4. Purposive Sampling- used in qualitative research where subjects are selected especially for their particular understandings of and involvement in the context where the study is being carried out.

Ethics in Research

Informed Consent

The people you speak to, observe, send questionnaires to, should know what you are doing and that you are involved in a research project. You should not put undue pressure on people or who might be afraid to say that they do not wish to participate in the research.

Invasion of privacy

You should seek permission of the person being interviewed to allow you to use a tape recorder for example.


You cannot tell other people what you learned or observed about a person, venue or situation if the persons are in a position to recognize the venue, person or situation. You must attempt to disguise your subjects’ identity.

Knowledge of the outcome

Participants in the research project have a right to know what you will be doing with the information you collect as well as the reason for the research.…...

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...necessary, an instructor can make some selection based upon the amount of laboratory equipment available for use by a class. Animal Dissection In the laboratory manual, detailed instructions for dissecting certain organs, such as the sheep brain, sheep heart, mammalian eye, and pig kidney are included. If an instructor prefers to have students dissect some animal, appropriate sections of a specialized dissection manual may be added. A laboratory option is to obtain a cadaver as a demonstration specimen. If this is not possible, consider a field trip to a location that has a prosected cadaver. A minimum of two viewings is recommended−one during muscle study and the other near the end of the course. The Use of Animals in Biology Education* The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) believes that the study of organisms, including nonhuman animals, is essential to the understanding of life on Earth. NABT recommends the prudent and responsible use of animals in the life science classroom. NABT believes that biology teachers should foster a respect for life. Biology teachers also should teach about the interrelationship and interdependency of all things. Classroom experiences that involve nonhuman animals range from observation to dissection. NABT supports these experiences so long as they are conducted within the long-established guidelines of proper care and use of animals, as developed by the scientific and educational community. As with any......

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