- Beyond ethnicity: writing Caribbean histories through social spaces
- Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 6 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Ethnic groups have frequently functioned as building blocks for the narration of Surinamese and, more generally, Caribbean social histories. This focus on ethnicity may lead to the portrayal of society as made up exclusively of racial/ethnic groups with primordial loyalties and attachments and pure, distinct cultures. Such an approach makes it impossible to understand social life but through an ethnic lens, while barring us from asking how ethnicity has been construed, deployed and contested. This article attempts to formulate an alternative vantage point and methodology for narrating Surinamese and Caribbean social histories. It argues for historical narratives that take differentiated geographies, rather than naturalized ethnic groupings as their vantage point.
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