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Volume 51 / Social Sciences


West Indies

LAMBROS COMITAS, Gardner Cowles Professor of Anthropology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Director, Research Institute for the Study of Man

DURING THE PAST TWO YEARS OR SO, there has been a perceptible shift in thematic and territorial emphasis in publications on the social and cultural anthropology of the Caribbean. Long-enduring research interests, such as rural economy, community oraganization, and social stratification in Creole societies are outnumbered by studies of Amerindians in the Guianese interior, Maroons in Suriname, and the Garifuna in Central America. Annotated below are 30 such publications, an unusually large number for the reporting period. And, although research on the Caribbean diaspora to the metropoles of North America and Europe is not usually noted here, the rapidly increasing importance of this distinctive genre of Caribbean studies provided sufficient justification for including another 15 which are migration-related articles, almost all drawn from two readers: New immigrants in New York (edited by Nancy Foner) and Caribbean life in New York City (edited by Constance R. Sutton and Elsa M. Chaney). Also included are about a dozen annotations of publications dealing with Caribbean problems or issues in regional or sub-regional perspective.

Publications in this Handbook period deal with one or more of the following 18 Caribbean countries or dependencies as well as the US: Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Bequia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, Suriname, and Trinidad. The most studied areas, as measured by number of publications, were, in order of importance, The Guianas (primarily Carib Indian research); New York City (migrant studies); Jamaica (Rastafarianism, other religions, and popular culture); General Caribbean (family and women studies); Haiti (primarily religion and health-related research); and Belize (predominantly Garifuna study).

I am indebted to María Guadeloupe Carmona for helping to prepare annotations of publications in Spanish.

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