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Volume 51 / Social Sciences


LISANDRO PEREZ, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University

MORE THAN A THIRD of the works annotated below deal with Cuba, a proliferation that can be attributed to the number of Cuban scholars living and publishing outside the island. Their works circulate immediately and extensively throughout the US while publications issued in Cuba are often inaccessible because of the limited communications between the two countries. Also, writers outside the island, especially émigrés, are producing works of high quality and significance, particularly in the area of sociocultural history (items bi 91003625, bi 89000480, bi 88000416, bi 91003475, bi 91003476, bi 89000481, bi 91003532, bi 91003535, bi 91003538, and bi 91003541). In this context, it is important to highlight studies of the African presence in Cuba by Castellanos (items bi 91003624 and bi 88000069); a very important book on population geography by the Spaniard Luzón (item bi 91003524); and the appearance of vol. 14 of Leví Marrerro's extraordinary opus, Economía y sociedad (item bi 91003527; for vols. 1-12, see HLAS 50:1592 and for vol. 13, see item bi 90007744).

Sociocultural history prior to the Revolution was also the focus of most of the literature published in Cuba and is exemplified by items bi 91003509, bi 91003514, bi 91003518, and bi 90012306 as well as by the posthumous publication of Fernando Ortiz's important study, Los negros curros (item bi 89001450). This interest in the pre-1959 period stands in contrast to a trend noted in the previous Handbook, i.e., that most publications issued in Cuba at that time focused on analyzing the consequences of the Revolution (see HLAS 49, p. 664).

The full impact of the downfall of the Duvalier dynasty on the sociological literature on Haiti is also evident in works canvassed for this volume. The traditional approach in Haitian sociology that focused chiefly on applied and development-related research has broadened into a larger perspective, especially in the subfield of political sociology which now addresses topics such as the nature of the Haitian State, socio-political development, and even the significance of voodoo in Haitian society (items bi 89001448, bi 89001451, bi 89001462, bi 89001467, and bi 91003526).

Migration, socioeconomic development, and the status of women are the dominant topics in the literature on the Dominican Republic. Sociological studies of Puerto Rico have declined noticeably; most annotated below deal with demographic processes. There was also a decline in the number of works reviewed on Jamaica, while there appears to be increasing interest in the French Caribbean. One of the most significant works to emerge from the region is a report on the political attitudes of Grenadians based on a 1984 survey conducted by the staff of the Univ. of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (item bi 91003474).

Finally, it should be noted that in addition to a continuing emphasis on familiar topics such as migration, population dynamics, and the status of women (items bi 88000466, bi 91003507, bi 88000540, bi 91003513, bi 91003520, bi 91003633, bi 91003528, and bi 88000855), there are two new subjects of interest in the literature on the non-Hispanic Caribbean (excluding Haiti): the demography of slave populations (items bi 90012383, bi 91003629, and bi 88000408), and the situation of the elderly (items bi 91003473 and bi 89001468).

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