Fr. 88.00

Sociology of Slavery: Black Society in Jamaica , 1655-1838 - Black Society in Jamaica, 1655-1838

English · Hardback

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Orlando Patterson's classic study of slavery in Jamaica reveals slavery for what it was: a highly repressive and destructive system of human exploitation, which disregarded and distorted almost all of the basic prerequisites of normal social life. What distinguishes Patterson's account is his detailed description of the lives and culture of slaves under this repressive regime. He analyses the conditions of slave life and work on the plantations, the psychological life of slaves and the patterns and meanings of life and death. He shows that the real-life situation of slaves and enslavers involved a complete breakdown of all major social institutions, including the family, gender relations, religion, trust and morality. And yet, despite the repressiveness and protracted genocide of the regime, slaves maintained some space of their own, and their forced adjustment to white norms did not mean that they accepted them. Slave culture was characterized by a persistent sense of resentment and injustice, which underpinned the day-to-day resistance and large-scale rebellions that were a constant feature of slave society, the last and greatest of which partly accounts for its abolition.
 
This second edition includes a new introduction by Orlando Patterson, which explains the origins of the book, appraises subsequent works on Jamaican slavery, and reflects on its enduring relevance. Widely recognized as a foundational work on the social institution of slavery, this book is an essential text for anyone interested in the role of slavery in shaping the modern world.

List of contents

Introduction to the 2022 Edition: Life and Scholarship in the Shadow of Slavery
 
Preface
 
I The Masters: An Overall View of Slavery
 
II The Slave Plantation: Its Socio-Economic Structure
 
III The Treatment of the Slaves in Law and Custom
 
IV An Analysis of the Slave Population of Jamaica
 
V The Tribal Origins of the Jamaican Slaves
 
VI The Socialization and Personality Structure of the Slave
 
VII Social Institutions of the Slaves: Witchcraft, Sorcery and Religion
 
VIII Social Institutions of the Slaves: Economy, Recreation and Control
 
XIV The Mechanisms of Resistance to Slavery
 
XX The Cultural and Social Development of Jamaica: 1655-1865
 
Appendix 1: Stephen Fullers Account of the Number of Negroes imported and exported at Jamaica each year, 1702-75
 
Appendix 2: Exports from Jamaica, 1768
 
Appendix 3: General Return from the Island of Jamaica, for Fifty-Three Years, ending 31st December 1836, abstracted from the Journals of the House Assembly
 
Appendix 4: Output, Income and Expenditure in 1832
 
Appendix 5: Manuscripts and Official Publications Consulted
 
Appendix 6: Europeans in West Africa; Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries
 
Appendix 7: Africa as known to Europeans in the Mid-eighteenth Century
 
Index

About the author










Orlando Patterson is John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Chair of the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission at the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica.


Summary

Orlando Patterson's classic study of slavery in Jamaica reveals slavery for what it was: a highly repressive and destructive system of human exploitation, which disregarded and distorted almost all of the basic prerequisites of normal social life. What distinguishes Patterson's account is his detailed description of the lives and culture of slaves under this repressive regime. He analyses the conditions of slave life and work on the plantations, the psychological life of slaves and the patterns and meanings of life and death. He shows that the real-life situation of slaves and enslavers involved a complete breakdown of all major social institutions, including the family, gender relations, religion, trust and morality. And yet, despite the repressiveness and protracted genocide of the regime, slaves maintained some space of their own, and their forced adjustment to white norms did not mean that they accepted them. Slave culture was characterized by a persistent sense of resentment and injustice, which underpinned the day-to-day resistance and large-scale rebellions that were a constant feature of slave society, the last and greatest of which partly accounts for its abolition.

This second edition includes a new introduction by Orlando Patterson, which explains the origins of the book, appraises subsequent works on Jamaican slavery, and reflects on its enduring relevance. Widely recognized as a foundational work on the social institution of slavery, this book is an essential text for anyone interested in the role of slavery in shaping the modern world.

Report

'a lucid, densely packed, and extremely intelligent analysis of slavery... indispensable'
Eric Hobsbawm, The Guardian
 
'an inventive and perceptive book'
Jack P. Greene, The American Historical Review
 
'a valuable contribution to the study of West Indian history... Patterson has asked new questions and elicited some new answers in his discussion of the Jamaican slave society.'
Elsa Goveia, The Times Literary Supplement
 
'This book is a badly needed and well done study of the slave society of Jamaica... Refreshingly free of romanticism, it deals frankly with the impact of slavery upon all the members of Jamaican society.'
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, The Historian
 
"[Orlando Patterson] is one of our great comparative and historical sociologists"
Society

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