Contemporary Caribbean society emerged within a complex framework of extensive and exploitive interconnections on a global scale, and unequal, inter-cultural, social relations at the local level. This book explores the communities of belonging that Caribbean people have created ands sustained, as they have carved out a life for themselves within this context of social, economic and cultural complexity. Caribbean narratives offer a fertile ground in which to explore notions and practices of belonging, because they are rich in empirical data on the lives experienced by various Caribbean people. At the same time they point to the shared socio-cultural orders that give meaning and purpose to these lives. By analyzing narratives as accounts of lived lives, as a way of structuring the past, and as modes of communication and performance, the chapters in this volume develop important insights into Caribbean culture and bring fresh perspectives to cross-cultural research on narratives and their articulation with fields of social relations and sites of cultural identity.
The sixteen chapters by anthropologists, geographers, historians and sociologists are based on in-depth research from throughout the Caribbean region and among Caribbean migrants and their descendents in Europe and North America.