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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The political economy of survival in an urban slum : the Jamaican case Gayle, Noga Agnus 1983

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SURVIVAL IN AN URBAN SLUM: THE JAMAICAN CASE by NOGA AGNUS GAYLE B.A. (Hons.), York University, 1973 M.A. University of Western Ontario, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMF2TT OF THE REQUIREMFNTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Apri l 1983 (c) Noga Agnus Gayle, 1983 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date p n ^ l £ ABSTRACT T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n deals with the p o l i t i c a l economy of s u r v i v a l w i t h i n a Jamaican urban slum. I t departs from the s o c i o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n of viewing the slum as a separate s o c i a l e n t i t y and t r e a t s i t as an i n t e g r a l part of the urban community. For t h e o r e t i c a l guidance, the d i s s e r t a t i o n draws s i g n i f i c a n t l y upon works s u b s c r i b i n g to the dependency p e r s p e c t i v e . However, the inner dynamics of s u r v i v a l , presented throughout the study are d e r i v e d through p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n i n the West Kingston slum. Problems w i t h i n the slum such as high unemployment, crime, v i o l e n c e , overcrowding and the g e n e r a l s t a t e of poverty are viewed w i t h i n the context of Jamaica's h i s t o r i c a l dependence. The t h r u s t of the study focuses on the techniques employed by slum dwellers i n t h e i r s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l . These i n c l u d e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p e t t y commodity p r o d u c t i o n and p e t t y t r a d i n g , most of which takes the form of hustling which i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as the a p p l i c a t i o n of one's wits i n s e c u r i n g scarce m a t e r i a l i i i r e s o u r c e s . Furthermore, as the slum dwellers s t r u g g l e to s u r v i v e , they at the same time c o n t r i b u t e to the economy i n ways that are not u s u a l l y r e c o g n i z e d by the s t a t e . Given the s c a r c i t y of jobs, competition tends to be f i e r c e . T h i s i s r e i n f o r c e d by a strong o r i e n t a t i o n towards i n d i v i d u a l a c q u i s i t i v e n e s s . The s i t u a t i o n i s manipulated by p o l i t i c i a n s through a h i g h l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d p o l i t i c a l patronage system. P o l i t i c a l v i o l e n c e i s u s u a l l y the r e s u l t . The slum d w e l l e r s do not appear to be i n c o n t r o l of t h e i r s o c i a l world. Many make sense of t h e i r world by r e s o r t i n g to a strong b e l i e f i n the o c c u l t or p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n v a r i o u s s y n c r e t i z e d r e l i g i o u s c u l t s . There i s an absence of p o l i t i c a l consciousness among slum d w e l l e r s who tend not to p e r c e i v e t h e i r poor m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n as s o c i a l l y produced, thus p e r p e t u a t i n g t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n shows that the slum d w e l l e r s s u s t a i n an asymmetrical symbiotic r e l a t i o n s h i p with the urban economy. CONTENTS Page No. Pref a c e v n Acknowledgements x I INTRODUCTION 1 The S e t t i n g 15 Gai n i n g Entry to the S e t t i n g 22 Methods of Fieldwork 26 The Problem 31 The Research Procedure 37 II SOME ASPECTS OF JAMAICA'S DEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS: A BACKGROUND 44 Major Features of a Dependent C a p i t a l i s t S tate 52 Some S o c i a l I m p l i c a t i o n s of E x t e r n a l Dependence 70 The Underground Economy: A Pe r p e t u a t i o n of Dependence 76 Jamaica's Power S t r u c t u r e and the Maintenance of Dependent Development 83 I I I SOME STRUCTURAL FEATURES CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND PERSISTENCE OF THE SLUM 91 The H i s t o r i c a l C o n t i n u i t y of the Slum 101 The Role of Race and R e l i g i o n i n M a i n t a i n i n g Dependence 112 R a s t a f a r i a n i s m : C u l t u r a l R e j e c t i o n Through R i t u a l 119 The Jamaican C l a s s S t r u c t u r e 123 Labour Displacement through I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n 135 Education and the Pe r p e t u a t i o n of Dependence 139 IV SOCIAL REALITY AND ILLUSION WITHIN THE URBAN SLUM 153 Housing i n the Urban Slum 166 The Family S t r u c t u r e Within the Urban Slum 176 The S t r u c t u r e of Formal Knowledge i n the Urban Slum 190 V CONTENTS (Continued) Page No, IV SOCIAL REALITY AND ILLUSION WITHIN THE URBAN SLUM (Continued) Access t o General Knowledge Within the Urban Slum 194 Medical Care Within the Urban Slum 196 S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s i n the Urban Slum 204 The Concept of Sharing i n the Urban Slum 219 V HUSTLING IN THE URBAN SLUM: THE ECONOMICS OF SURVIVAL 225 E f f e c t s of I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n on the Labour Force 231 The Formal and Informal S e c t o r s 235 The Reproduction of C h i l d r e n - The S t r u g g l e f o r S u r v i v a l 242 The Role of the Informal Sector Wage Earners i n the Formal S e c t o r 254 Lack of S o c i a l Consciousness as a Form of S o c i a l C o n t r o l 257 The Blackmarket Economy and Dependence on F o r e i g n Consumer Goods 259 The Role of Absentee Landlords i n P e r p e t u a t i n g Slum C o n d i t i o n s 261 The Ganja Trade 263 The Rural-Urban Connection- Myth or R e a l i t y ? 268 The P a r t n e r s Network 274 Petty Commodity Producers and Traders versus the State 280 Afro-Jamaican R e l i g i o u s T r a d i t i o n s : 286 S u r v i v a l Through R i t u a l 297 VI POLITICAL TRIBALISM AND VIOLENCE WITHIN THE URBAN SLUM 307 P o l i t i c a l P o l a r i z a t i o n as S o c i a l C o n t r o l 307 P o l i t i c a l Dependence, V i c t i m i z a t i o n and V i o l e n c e 316 S o c i a l P r o t e s t Through the Music of the Oppressed 326 From Gang Wars to P o l i t i c a l T r i b a l Wars 332 V i CONTENTS ( C o n t i n u e d ) ' Page No, V I P O L I T I C A L T R I B A L I S M AND V IOLENCE WITHIN THE URBAN SLUM ( C o n t i n u e d ) D e m o c r a t i c S o c i a l i s m : The S e a r c h f o r a S o l u t i o n 339 I d e o l o g i c a l W a r f a r e as an O b s t a c l e t o S o c i a l Change 346 P o l i t i c a l C o n s c i o u s n e s s : The S l u m D w e l l e r s v e r s u s t h e S t a t e 355 V I I A CONCLUSION 363 GLOSSARY 379 B IBL IOGRAPHY 383 APPEND IX 403 v i i PREFACE T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s based on my l o n g s t a n d i n g c o n c e r n w i t h t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the d e v e l o p m e n t of the human p o t e n t i a l o f t h e p e o p l e s o f t h e T h i r d W o r l d . B e i n g b o r n i n J a m a i c a , a s o c i e t y commonly r e f e r r e d t o as p a r t o f t h e T h i r d W o r l d , I am c o n c e r n e d w i t h i t s f u t u r e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , I have expended a g r e a t d e a l of i n t e l l e c -t u a l e n e r g y s u b s c r i b i n g t o an u n c r i t i c a l e v o l u t i o n i s t i d e o l o g y w h i c h m a i n t a i n s t h a t i f T h i r d W o r l d p e o p l e a r e t o d e v e l o p s u c h p o t e n t i a l , t h e y must f o l l o w s i m i l a r p a t h s t o N o r t h A m e r i c a n and E u r o p e a n s o c i e t i e s . Of c o u r s e , my p r i m a r y s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s and e a r l y f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n r e f l e c t e d and r e i n f o r c e d t h i s i d e o l o g y . I t i s t h e r e f o r e i r o n i c t h a t my i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s h o u l d t a k e p l a c e w i t h i n the c o n t e x t of a N o r t h A m e r i c a n U n i v e r s i t y . The d i s c i p l i n e of s o c i o l o g y f a c i l i t a t e d a s h i f t o f t h i s i n t e r e s t t o my own s o c i e t y , J a m a i c a . W i t h t h i s s h i f t , I a l s o became i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e added d i m e n s i o n o f e x t e r n a l d e p e n d e n c y . My t r a n s f o r -m a t i o n was f u r t h e r r e i n f o r c e d by e x p o s u r e t o t h e works o f C a r i b b e a n i n t e l l e c t u a l s s u c h as F r a n z Fanon, Aime C e s a i r e , W a l t e r Rodney, George B e c k f o r d , Norman G i r v a n v i i i a n d Owen J e f f e r s o n . I a l s o became aware o f t h e l i t e r a -t u r e on d e p e n d e n c y w h i c h r e p r e s e n t e d a d e p a r t u r e f r o m t h e c l a s s i c a l t h e o r y o f d e v e l o p m e n t . A l t h o u g h t h i s p e r s p e c -t i v e e m a n a t e s f r o m L a t i n A m e r i c a , i t seems a p p l i c a b l e t o many o t h e r T h i r d W o r l d s o c i e t i e s . I t a p p e a r s t o be t h e most p r o m i s i n g i n t h e s e n s e t h a t i t b e s t e x p l a i n s some o f t h e c u l t u r a l c o m p l e x i t i e s o f J a m a i c a n r e a l i t y w i t h w h i c h I have been g r a p p l i n g , s u c h as o v e r a l l p o v e r t y , t h e m e r g i n g o f r a c e a n d c l a s s a n d t h e s e e m i n g l y u n e q u a l r e l a -t i o n s h i p t h a t J a m a i c a a n d o t h e r T h i r d W o r l d c o u n t r i e s h a ve w i t h t h e d e v e l o p e d w o r l d . T h i s u n e q u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p has now come t o be v i e w e d a s t h e d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e o f d e p e n d e n t s t a t e s . E q u i p p e d w i t h a new p e r s p e c t i v e , I began t o pay c l o s e r a t t e n t i o n t o J a m a i c a ' s s o c i a l h i s -t o r y ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h e h i s t o r y o f s l a v e r y , t h e i n t e r -p l a y o f t h e v a r i o u s s o c i a l c l a s s e s w i t h i n t h e c o u n t r y and t h e i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n J a m a i c a a n d t h e more a d v a n c e d c o u n t r i e s . I s e l e c t e d t h e s l u m f o r i n t e n s i v e s t u d y b e c a u s e i t b e s t r e p r e s e n t s t h e r e s t r i c t i n g o f human p o t e n t i a l . G i v e n t h e h i g h d e g r e e o f p o w e r l e s s n e s s t h a t i s e x h i b i t e d by t h e p e o p l e w i t h i n t h i s s e c t o r , i t i s my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h i s r e s t r i c t i n g o f human p o t e n t i a l i s c a r r i e d o u t i n t h e i n t e r e s t o f v a r i o u s p r i v i l e g e d g r o u p s w i t h i n Jama-i c a n s o c i e t y . So, r a t h e r t h a n v i e w i n g t h e s l u m a s an i s o l a t e d community, as other s t u d i e s have done, I intend to examine i t w i t h i n the context of Jamaican s o c i e t y . I can only hope that the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s that f o l l o w w i l l present a f a i r l y a c c urate p i c t u r e of the l i f e s i t u a t i o n s of the people i n a Kingston slum. X ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e t o thank t h e members of my co m m i t t e e Dr. E l v i W h i t t a k e r , my t h e s i s a d v i s e r , Dr. T e r r y McGee and D r . T i s s a F e r n a n d o f o r t h e i r s u g g e s t i o n s and h e l p i n c a r r y i n g t h i s work t h r o u g h . Thanks a l s o t o Dr. B l a n c a M u r a t o r i o f o r h e r h e l p i n t h e i n i t i a l s t a g e s o f t h e work and t o my f a m i l y f o r f i n a n c i a l and e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t and my c o l l e a g u e s who were a l w a y s on hand t h r o u g h o u t t h e d i f f i c u l t p e r i o d s o f w r i t i n g . F i n a l l y , t h a n k s t o my i n f o r m a n t s who gave t h e i r t i m e , even t h o u g h t i m e p l a y e d s u c h an i m p o r t a n t p a r t i n t h e i r l i v e s . 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION My work i s concerned with the slum i n what has been considered a dependent c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e . I t i s an e f f o r t to a r r i v e at a b e t t e r understanding of how the slum i s c r e a t e d , why i t p e r s i s t s i n s p i t e of e f f o r t s to e l i m i n a t e i t , and the r o l e i t s i n h a b i t a n t s p l a y w i t h i n the urban economy. In demonstrating t h i s , I w i l l f i r s t s i t u a t e the slum w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r dependent s t a t e , Jamaica, and i n the c i t y of Kingston, i n p a r t i c u l a r . Then, I s h a l l t r y to show how the slum's p e r s i s t e n c e i s p a r t l y t i e d to Jamaica's dependent r o l e w i t h i n a wider c a p i t a l i s t system. I w i l l t r y a l s o to show that because many of the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of the slum r e s i d e n t s are i n e x t r i c a b l y t i e d to techniques of per s o n a l s u r v i v a l , they tend not to be regarded as a c t i v i t i e s important to the economy. As McGee (1974) shows i n referen c e to slums i n J a k a r t a , there are groups of people i n v o l v e d i n a c t i -v i t i e s concerned with the p r o v i s i o n of s e r v i c e s , f o r example, car washers, car minders, t i r e r e p a i r e r s , p r o f e s s i o n a l q u e u e r s , s e l f - a p p o i n t e d house g u a r d s , p r o s t i t u t e s , number r u n n e r s , s e l f - e m p l o y e d m e c h a n i c s o r c a r p e n t e r s and o t h e r s k i l l e d and s e m i - s k i l l e d a r t i s a n s , m a g i c i a n s a n d c u l t l e a d e r s , whose c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e u r b a n economy a r e b a r e l y r e c o g n i z e d . I n t h e c a s e o f K i n g s t o n , t h e r e f o r e I w i l l l o o k a t how t h e s l u m d w e l l e r s s u r v i v e . I w i l l examine a l s o t h e i d e o l o g y t h e y d e v e l o p and a d o p t i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e i r d e p r i v e d s i t u a t i o n . F o r i n s t a n c e , t h e i r a t t r a c t i o n t o s o c i a l movements s u c h a s t h e R a s t a f a r i a n Movement a n d t h e i r m a i n t e n a n c e o f a s t r o n g b e l i e f i n Obeah a s a way of making s e n s e o f t h e i r w o r l d . Obeah i s a t y p e o f w i t c h c r a f t w h i c h has i t s o r i g i n s i n A f r i c a but was m a n i f e s t e d i n J a m a i c a d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f s l a v e r y . The word i s d e r i v e d f r o m t h e G h a n a i a n word o b a y i m e a n i n g w i t c h ( B a r r e t t 1976). Most t e n d t o r e s p o n d t o t h e i r s i t u a t i o n by e n g a g i n g i n e n t e r p r i s i n g v e n t u r e s s u c h as hut t l i n g w h i c h i n v o l v e s hawking, p i c k p o c k e t i n g , s c u f f l i n g , p r o s t i t u t i o n o r becoming c a s u a l l a b o u r e r s , s u c h a s d o m e s t i c h e l p e r s and g a r d e n e r s . The f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n s f r o m t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s t e n d t o be q u i t e l o w and s u c h i n d i -v i d u a l s f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t t o make ends meet w i t h i n an economy t h a t i s e x p e r i e n c i n g an e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g r i s e i n t h e * c o s t o f l i v i n g . S t i l l o t h e r s p a r t i c i p a t e i n 3 p o l i t i c a l v i o l e n c e , w h i c h t e n d s t o be an a l t e r n a t i v e t o o t h e r f orms o f employment and b r i n g s i n a d d i t i o n a l income. The main a i m o f t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s t o e s t a b l i s h a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e r o l e of t h e s l u m w i t h i n a d e p e n d e n t s t a t e . In many c a s e s slums a r e t h e most v i s i b l e e x p r e -s s i o n o f s o c i o - e c o n o m i c i n e q u a l i t y w i t h i n b o t h d e v e l o p e d and l e s s d e v e l o p e d n a t i o n s t a t e s . Slums t e n d t o p e r s i s t a s ' p r o b l e m a r e a s ' d e s p i t e t h e v a r i o u s a n a l y t i c a l p e r -s p e c t i v e s t h a t have p r o l i f e r a t e d t o e x p l a i n t h e i r p r e -s e n c e and t o d e v i s e p r a c t i c a l s o l u t i o n s . My i n t e r e s t i n t h e slums a r i s e s f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y p e r s i s t b o t h i n a d v a n c e d and d e p e n d e n t c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e s . I n b o t h t y p e s o f s t a t e s , d i s c u s s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g ways of e l i m i n a t i n g them a r e c o n s t a n t l y g e n e r a t e d y e t , so f a r , t h i s has not p r o v e n t o be s u c c e s s f u l . T h i s l e a d s one t o b e l i e v e t h a t s lums m i g h t not be a s d y s f u n c t i o n a l a s t h e y a r e p u r p o r t e d t o be. I have p l a c e d emphasis on t h e s lum w i t h i n t h e d e p e n d e n t c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e b e c a u s e o f t h e b a s i c assump-t i o n t h a t t h e slums i n t h e s e s t a t e s t e n d t o p l a y a more s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e w i t h i n t h e economy t h a n t h o s e w i t h i n t h e a d v a n c e d s t a t e s . T h a t i s , a t t h e v e r y minimum, p e o p l e w i t h i n t h e s l u m i n t h e d e p e n d e n t s t a t e have t o d e v i s e s t r a t e g i e s f o r s u r v i v a l and income c r e a t i o n . S t a r t i n g 4 o f f w i t h t h e n o t i o n t h a t t h e e c o n o m i c s i t u a t i o n i n f l u e n -c e s t h a t o f t h e s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l , t h e v e r y l o c a t i o n o f t h e s l u m w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c t y p e o f e c o -nomy r e q u i r e s some e x p l a n a t i o n . I n e s s e n c e , t h e s l u m i n an a d v a n c e d c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e s u c h as t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , i s u s u a l l y a p h y s i c a l l y d e t e r i o r a t e d a r e a w h i c h has become a r e s e r v o i r f o r t h e c i t y ' s p o o r and o p p r e s s e d . Most o f the r e s i d e n t s a r e m i n i m a l l y s u p p o r t e d , by t h e s t a t e t h r o u g h s o c i a l w e l f a r e o f one t y p e o r a n o t h e r . In r e f e r e n c e t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , S t a c k i n d i c a t e s t h a t a i d t o f a m i l i e s w i t h depen-d e n t c h i l d r e n seems t o p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n t h i s r e g a r d ( 1 9 7 5 : 1 0 , 2 7 ) . T h i s may have i m p o r t a n t i m p l i c a -t i o n s i n a d v a n c e d c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e s , a s Gough e x p l a i n s i n t h e c a s e o f G r e a t B r i t a i n : A l m o s t a l l s o c i a l p o l i c i e s have a b e a r i n g on t h e c a p a c i t y o f t h e f a m i l y t o b r i n g up c h i l d r e n , and many a r e s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d a t t h e m i n o r i t y o f f a m i l i e s t h a t a t any g i v e n t i m e a r e d o i n g so: not o n l y e d u c a t i o n , but s p e c i f i c h e a l t h s e r v i c e s f o r example; and w i t h i n m a i n t e n a n c e and h o u s i n g p o l i c i e s s p e c i a l r e g a r d i s g i v e n t o t h o s e f a m i l i e s w i t h c h i l d -r e n . C h i l d r e n f o r m th e w o r k f o r c e o f t h e n e x t g e n e r a t i o n and t h i s i s one r e a s o n f o r t h e g r o w t h o f s t a t e i n t e r -v e n t i o n i n t h i s p r o c e s s ( 1 9 7 9 : 4 6 ) . The same c a n n o t be s a i d f o r c h i l d r e n w i t h i n most slums o f d e p e n d e n t s t a t e s , as i n many c a s e s t h e y a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d w i t h i n t h e work f o r c e a t an e a r l y a g e . 5 S t u d i e s o f slums w i t h i n t h e a d v a n c e d c a p i t a l i s t s t a t e s , i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , f o c u s on s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (Whyte 1973, S u t t l e s 1968, C l a r k e 1965, L i e b o w 1967, Tabb 1970, R a i n w a t e r 1 9 7 3 ) . O t h e r s t u d i e s i n v e s t i g a t e s p e c i f i c a s p e c t s o f t h e slum. F o r i n s t a n c e , V a l e n t i n e (1978) d i s c u s s e s t h e h a r d s h i p o f h u s t l i n g among p o o r b l a c k s . S t a c k (1970) a n a l y z e s t h e s t r u g g l e s o f p o o r b l a c k f a m i l i e s i n t h e i r day t o day e x i s t e n c e . P e r k i n s (1975) s e n s i t i v e l y d e s c r i b e s t h e o p p r e s s i o n o f p o o r b l a c k c h i l d r e n , e m p h a s i z i n g t h e s t r e e t as home and c h i l d r e n ' s e x p e r t knowledge o f t h a t 'home'. Brown (1965) u s e s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l a p p r o a c h t o d e p i c t h i s e v e r y d a y e x p e r -i e n c e s i n t h e s l u m o f H a r l e m as a young boy and h i s l o n g t e r m i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h d r u g p u s h i n g and gang wars. A n d e r -s o n ' s (1978) s t u d y i s an e t h n o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f a g r o u p o f b l a c k men f r o m t h e g h e t t o who meet r e g u l a r l y a t a l o c a l b a r . The m a j o r t h r u s t o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o demon-s t r a t e t h a t t h e men a r e n o t j u s t i d l e r s s t u m b l i n g a r o u n d t o g e t h e r , a s i s o f t e n b e l i e v e d , b u t on t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e g r o u p i s w e l l s t r u c t u r e d w i t h members e x p e r i e n c i n g p e r -s o n a l f e a r s , a n x i e t i e s , hopes and e x p e c t a t i o n s . A l t h o u g h t h e s e s t u d i e s g i v e us some i d e a s o f s u r v i v a l p a t t e r n s i n t h e slums as w e l l as c e r t a i n i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t s o f s t r e e t l i f e , t h e r e i s a g e n e r a l t e n d e n c y not t o t i e t h e s e e v e n t s t o t h e c o u n t r y ' s o v e r a l l p o l i t i c a l economy. 6 L i s a P e a t t i e o f f e r s a p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s f a i l u r e t o r e l a t e s m a l l s t u d i e s t o t h e w i d e r s o c i -e t y : 1 F i e l d - w o r k a n t h r o p o l o g y g o t i t s s t a r t i n a s e r i e s o f s h o r t t e r m p l u n g e s i n t o v a r i o u s e x o t i c s o c i e t i e s w i t h o u t w r i t t e n h i s t o r y . L a c k o f b a c k g r o u n d i n f o r m a t i o n and t h e l i m i t e d t i m e span o f " f i e l d work" p r e s e n t -ed t h e s e s o c i e t i e s t o t h e e t h n o g r a p h e r as i s o l a t e d f r o m t h e i r immediate h i s t o r y . R e a l i s o l a t i o n o f p r i m i t i v e g r o u p s was ex-a g g e r a t e d i n t h e f i e l d w o r k e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n by t h e l i m i t e d r e a c h o f t h e s i n g l e r e s e a r -c h e r ' s e a r s and l e g s . Thus, a l t h o u g h a n -t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a l w a y s l o o k e d a t c u l -t u r e s a s s y s t e m s o f c o p i n g w i t h s p e c i f i c r e a l s i t u a t i o n s , and a s d e v e l o p i n g t h e i r s y s t e m a t i c q u a l i t y w i t h i n t h e l i m i t s s e t by t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s , t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s o -c i e t i e s a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s s t u d i e d and t h e c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h t h e y s t u d i e d them has made f o r a 1 f o c u s on i n t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f s m a l l s y s t e m s t o l a r g e r s c a l e f o r c e s ( 1 9 7 1 : 2 8 5 ) . P e a t t i e f u r t h e r s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s a p p r o a c h i s i c a r r i e d o v e r t o s t u d i e s o f g r o u p s t h a t a r e "by no means c o u r s e , e x t e n d s t o g r o u p s w i t h i n a d -c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s . I am aware i s o l a t e d . " T h i s , o f v a n c e d and d e p e n d e n t t h a t e x a m i n a t i o n o f s e c t o r s o f s o c i e t y as an i n t e g r a l i n t o t h e p o l i t i c a l be r e l u c t a n t t o do p a r t o f t h e p o l i t i c a l economy moves us r e a l m and t h a t s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s c o u l d t h i s b e c a u s e o f t h e m o r a l i m p l i c a t i o n o f s u c h s t u d i e s . A l v i n G o u l d n e r ' s (1980:16) c o n c e r n r e g a r d i n g s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s i n g e n e r a l and t h e i r a d h e r e n c e t o Weber's d o c t r i n e o f a value-free s o c i o l o g y a l s o comes t o mind as he wonders "whether t h i s g r o u p ' s p o l i t i c a l i n t e l l i g e n c e 7 can e v e r be a d e q u a t e l y m o b i l i z e d f o r t h e s e p u r p o s e s so l o n g as i t r e m a i n s t r a n q u i l i z e d by t h e v a l u e f r e e d o c t r i n e . " I i n t e n d t o d e p a r t from t h i s t r a d i t i o n o f v i e w i n g t h e s l u m i n i s o l a t i o n and a t t e m p t t o examine i t s r e a l i t y w i t h i n t h e h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t o f dependency. The slums w i t h i n a d e p e n d e n t s t a t e t e n d t o be g r o w i n g a t a much more r a p i d r a t e t h a n t h o s e i n t h e more a d v a n c e d c o u n t r i e s . T h a t has been a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t w i t h i n t h e s e c o u n t r i e s , t h e r a t e o f n a t u r a l i n c r e a s e t e n d s t o be h i g h e r and a l s o t h e volume o f r u r a l - u r b a n m i -g r a t i o n i s c o n s i d e r a b l e . T h i s i s o f t e n a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e s t r u c t u r e o f p o v e r t y i n t h e r u r a l a r e a s where many p e o p l e a r e s y s t e m a t i c a l l y e x c l u d e d from t h e means o f sub -s i s t e n c e ( F e d e r 1 9 7 1 ) . I n t h e s e c a s e s most o f the l a n d i s owned by a few. As Robotham (1977:45) shows f o r Jama-i c a , "on t h e a v e r a g e o v e r 70% o f t h e f a r m e r s w i t h farms u n d e r 5 a c r e s o f l a n d o c c u p i e d o n l y 11-16% o f t o t a l f a r m a c r e a g e ; w h i l e on t h e o t h e r hand between 300 and 350 l a r g e l a t i f u n d i a r e p r e s e n t i n g between 0.15% t o 0.2% o f a l l f a r m e r s m o n o p o l i z e d between 38-45% o f a l l t h e f a r m -l a n d . " Many s m a l l f a r m e r s moved t o t h e c i t y w i t h e x p e c -t a t i o n s o f o b t a i n i n g j o b s . As e x p r e s s e d by many o f my i n f o r m a n t s t h e s e e x p e c t a t i o n s a l l t o o f r e q u e n t l y t u r n e d i o u t t o be mere i l l u s i o n s . Many r e m a i n i n t h e c i t y r e l y -i n g s o l e l y upon t h e i r h o p e s . U n a b l e t o cope e c o n o m i -8 c a l l y , most f i n d themselves f o r c e d to l i v e i n the shanty towns or slums of the c i t y , thus s w e l l i n g the ranks of the unemployed and under-employed. T h i s e x c e s s i v e unemployment adds to the unbearable housing c o n d i t i o n s and poor h e a l t h standards which tend to worsen the s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of those w i t h i n these slums. Such slums e x h i b i t f e a t u r e s s i m i l a r to t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n the developed c o u n t r i e s , such as d i l a p i -d a t i o n , overcrowding and lack of adequate s o c i a l ameni-t i e s ; but there i s a fundamental d i f f e r e n c e i n the sense that these r e s i d e n t s do not r e c e i v e s t a t e support. Thus s t a r t i n g from p r a c t i c a l l y no m a t e r i a l base they are l e f t t o d e v i s e techniques f o r t h e i r own s u r v i v a l . These t e c h -niques range from o r g a n i z i n g a p l a c e to l i v e to f i n d i n g a d a i l y meal. T h i s p r e c a r i o u s s i t u a t i o n tends to give r i s e t o s q u a t t i n g , which i s the occupation of land and the c o n s t r u c t i o n of houses ( s h a n t i e s ) on these lands without the consent of the owners. Or, they sometimes become v o l u n t a r y s q u a t t e r s by r e n t i n g rooms in tenement w i t h i n the inner c i t y slums f o r a short p e r i o d of time and then r e f u s e to continue rent payments. For the pur-poses of t h i s study, the terms s q u a t t e r s and slum d w e l l -ers w i l l be used synonymously, as they represent the poorest s e c t o r s of the p o p u l a t i o n . Slum areas are usu-a l l y o l d e r and more e s t a b l i s h e d , with decaying houses the 19 dominant mode of s h e l t e r , while s q u a t t e r settlements tend to be l o c a t e d on the f r i n g e s of the c i t y . These are makeshift s h e l t e r s , u s u a l l y of d i s c a r d e d m a t e r i a l s such as f l a t t e n e d t i n drums, s t i c k s , rags and coconut l e a v e s . In r e f e r r i n g to s q u a t t e r s , Turner p o i n t s out t h a t , "the c l a n d e s t i n e developers' or s q u a t t e r s ' a c t i o n i s i l l e g a l , t h e r e f o r e the sett l e m e n t s they e s t a b l i s h do not o f f i -c i a l l y e x i s t " (1970:270). One cannot help but see the r e a c t i o n of o f f i c i a l s to s q u a t t e r s as a r e f l e c t i o n of t h e i r a t t i t u d e s towards them as a s o c i a l group. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to comprehend t h i s negation when sq u a t t e r s seem to make up r a t h e r high percentages of the p o p u l a t i o n i n many dependent s t a t e s : Squatters make up about 45% of the popula-t i o n of Ankara where some land has had to be turned over to them. They are 21% of I s t a n b u l ' s p o p u l a t i o n and 18% of I z m i r ' s . In 1951 they numbered s i x t y thousand i n Baghdad and twenty thousand i n Basra, I r a q ; i n K a r a c h i , s q u a t t e r s represented about a t h i r d of the p o p u l a t i o n . Squa-t t e r s account f o r at l e a s t 20% of Manila's p o p u l a t i o n and i n Davao s q u a t t e r s have taken p o s s e s s i o n of the whole parkway area running from the c i t y h a l l to the r e t a i l c e n t r e . Urban centres i n South America are a l s o e x p e r i e n c i n g a f l o o d of migrant s q u a t t e r s . In Venezuela, the p r o p o r t i o n of s q u a t t e r s ( r u r a l and urban) i s more than 65% of the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n , with a 35% r a t e f o r Caracas and 50% f o r Maracai-bo. C a l i , Colombia, has a squ a t t e r popu-l a t i o n that makes up about 30% of the t o -t a l f i g u r e . In Santiago, C h i l e , s q u a t t e r s represent an estimated 25% of the popula-t i o n . They c o n s t i t u t e 15% i n Singapore and 12% i n Kingston, Jamaica (Abrams 1977:294). 10 Much of t h i s s q u a t t i n g has been w e l l documented f o r c e r t a i n p a r t s of L a t i n America, A s i a and A f r i c a , where the demand f o r housing tends to be g r e a t e r than the supply. T h i s problem tends to be exacerbated by the u r -b a n i z a t i o n process that has been t a k i n g place w i t h i n the developing world over the l a s t three decades (McGee 1977, C o r n e l i u s 1977, Breese 1966, C l a r k e 1975, Desai and P i l l a i 1970, Gutkind 1974). The problem i n t e n s i f i e s as n e i t h e r the Jamaican s t a t e nor the p r i v a t e s e c t o r takes the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r adequately housing the p o p u l a t i o n brought i n t o the c i t y by the phenomenon of urban explo-s i o n : I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , i n view of the con-t i n u e d growth of the m e t r o p o l i t a n popula-t i o n during t h i s p e r i o d and the i n c r e a s i n g housing shortage, that e x i s t i n g shanty towns p e r s i s t e d and expanded unless f o r c i -b l y removed. New s h a n t i e s were e s t a b l i s h -ed on vacant lands throughout the urban areas, p a r t i c u l a r l y on i t s edges, e.g. R i v e r t o n C i t y and Bayfarm Road i n the western s e c t o r . The e s t a b l i s h e d shanty towns i n c r e a s e d i n d e n s i t y and extended t h i s area where t h i s was p o s s i b l e . Hanson's study found, f o r example, that the e s t a b l i s h e d shanty towns of Grants Pen, W h i t e h a l l and Cassava Piece i n c r e a s e d t h e i r p o p u l a t i o n from 3,290, 1,154 and 563 r e s p e c t i v e l y i n 1960 t o 9,924, 5,517 and 786 i n 1970. D e n s i t i e s during the same p e r i o d went up from 7.3 i n Grants Pen, 2.8 i n W h i t e h a l l and 21.8 i n Casava Piece to 22, 13.6 and 30.5 persons per a c r e . The same study a l s o showed the beginnings of s h a n t i e s , such as White F r i a r and Hope Ri v e r whose p o p u l a t i o n s were 260 and 19 i n 1968 but had i n c r e a s e d to 676 and 195 i n 1974 (Norton 1978:44). 11 There i s much w r i t t e n about slums and s q u a t t e r s e t t l e m e n t s i n such T h i r d World regions as L a t i n America, A f r i c a and A s i a . I was unable to f i n d any d e t a i l e d s t u d i e s d e a l i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y with the slums of Kingston. Most of the s t u d i e s on Kingston have concentra-ted on surveys, such as unemployment r a t i o s , and s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of the p o p u l a t i o n i n t e g r a t i n g race and c l a s s , or the r a c i a l and c l a s s components i n v o t i n g p a t t e r n s . The most d e t a i l e d study has been c a r r i e d out by the geographer C o l i n C l a r k e (1975). His work concen-t r a t e s on urban development i n Kingston and although i l l u m i n a t i n g , h i s a n a l y s i s does not make a c l e a r connec-t i o n between the processes o p e r a t i n g i n Kingston and the r e s t of the country, nor f o r that matter, the connection between enclaves such as slums and shanty towns i n King-ston and the c i t y c o re. Kuper has attempted to cover too many i s s u e s . He t h e r e f o r e ends up c o n t r i b u t i n g too l i t t l e to the study of Jamaica's p o l i t i c a l economy, a task which he d e c l a r e s i s h i s i n t e n t . Although h i s aim was to pl a c e the slums i n a more " r e a l i s t i c p e r s p e c t i v e . . . i n order to demystify v a r i o u s f a s h i o n a b l e ( f o r e i g n and home-made) models of the s o c i a l environment of King s t o n " (1976:98), h i s chapter on Kingston's slums seems to be a mere catalogue of e x i s t i n g f e a t u r e s . 12 Other a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s have covered v a r i o u s aspects of Jamaican l i f e . Smith (1962, 1965) has s t u d i e d the f a m i l y i n the Caribbean and has d i s c u s s e d both Jamaica's r u r a l and urban f a m i l y p a t t e r n s i n order to e x p l a i n the nature of domestic o r g a n i z a t i o n . In look-ing a t e t h n i c p l u r a l i s m i n the Caribbean, he completely ignores the h i s t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s of race and c l a s s and argues that each c u l t u r a l s e c t o r possesses a d i f f e r e n t i n s t i t u t i o n a l system with regard to f a m i l y , k i n s h i p and r e l i g i o n . In a d d i t i o n , each c u l t u r a l s e c t o r may be i n t e r n a l l y d i v i d e d by s o c i a l c l a s s . He chooses not to a n a lyze the dominant c l a s s ' s i d e o l o g i c a l p e n e t r a t i o n through i n s t i t u t i o n s such as education and i t s r e l a t i o n -s h i p to the p e r p e t u a t i o n of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . David Lowenthal's (1972) work p o r t r a y s a comprehensive study of Caribbean s o c i e t i e s . He concentrates on the development of the d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s over time, demonstrating the d i f f e r e n c e s and s i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h i n the E n g l i s h , Dutch and French speaking Caribbean. Fernando Henriques (1968) focuses h i s a t t e n t i o n on the r o l e of c o l o u r i n Jamaican f a m i l y l i f e . He a l s o ignores the h i s t o r i c a l legacy and assumes as given the s i t u a t i o n where c o l o u r i s h i e r a r c h i c a l l y c o r r e l a t e d with s o c i a l c l a s s . 13 Recent w r i t e r s are now f o c u s i n g a t t e n t i o n on some of the economic, p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i s s u e s con-f r o n t i n g contemporary Jamaica. T h e i r works are h e l p f u l as a frame of r e f e r e n c e f o r examining the slum. Norman Gir v a n (1971) and Owen J e f f e r s o n (1972) a t t a c k the investment p a t t e r n s of the m u l t i n a t i o n a l companies, main-t a i n i n g t h at they c o n t r i b u t e to Jamaica's c o n d i t i o n of dependent development. T h i s i s confirmed, they argue, by the nature of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between these companies and the Jamaican economy. K e i t h (1978) a l s o sees the impulse of m u l t i n a t i o n a l companies toward the T h i r d World as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of m e t r o p o l i t a n based c a p i t a l i s m to f i n d markets f o r i t s investments, economic s u r p l u s , manu-f a c t u r e d goods and cheap labour power to cut the r i s i n g p r o d u c t i o n cost i n the advanced c a p i t a l i s t c o u n t r i e s (Baran 1957; Magdoff 1969; J a l e e 1968, 1969). Munroe and Robotham (1977) p o i n t out that the Jamaican masses can only change t h e i r present s i t u a t i o n i f they are p o l i -t i c a l l y aware of t h e i r h i s t o r y and the causes of t h e i r p l i g h t . The book t h e r e f o r e p r e s e n t s a p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y of the s t r u g g l e s of the Jamaican working c l a s s . Rex N e t t l e f o r d (1970) t r a c e s the h i s t o r y of the development of a Jamaican i d e n t i t y . In h i s chapter on the Rasta-f a r i a n Movement, he has l o c a t e d h i s e m p i r i c a l problem i n Kingston, but has not, to any great extent, l i n k e d the emergence of t h i s movement t o Jamaica's p o l i t i c a l economy. 14 W a l t e r Rodney a l s o l o c a t e d h i s work i n K i n g s t o n but c o n c e n t r a t e d e x c l u s i v e l y on the d e v e l o p m e n t of a b l a c k i d e n t i t y . H i s o b j e c t i v e was t h e c a l l f o r a break w i t h i m p e r i a l i s m and t h e a s s u m p t i o n o f power by the b l a c k masses "and t h e c u l t u r a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the s o c i e t y i n t h e image o f t h e b l a c k s " ( 1 9 6 9 : 2 1 ) . L e o n a r d B a r r e t t ( 1 9 7 4 ) , i n l o o k i n g a t t h e R a s t a f a r i a n s i n K i n g s t o n , examined them u n d e r th e r u b r i c of m e s s i a n i c c u l t i s m i n J a m a i c a . A l t h o u g h he has f o c u s e d on t h e R a s t a f a r i a n s i n K i n g s t o n , he d i d not examine t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e i r emergence was a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e n a t u r e o f K i n g s t o n ' s p o l i t i c a l economy. M i c h a e l Manley (1974) i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e c o u n t r y ' s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y and i t s u l t i m a t e f u t u r e . He a r g u e s f o r a t o t a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e s o c i e t y i n t h e hope of r i d d i n g i t of i t s h i s t o r i c a l l e g a c y o f d e p e n d e n c e . B e c k f o r d (1972) goes i n t o g r e a t d e t a i l i n n o t i n g the c a u s e s o f u n d e r d e v e l o p m e n t i n T h i r d W o r l d e c o n o m i e s and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the h i s t o r y o f t h e p l a n t a t i o n s y s t e m . In t h e i r s t u d y e n t i t l e d S m a l l Garden, B i t t e r Weed, B e c k f o r d and W i t t e r (1980) go much f u r t h e r and t r y t o make the l i n k between some o f J a m a i -c a ' s c o n t e m p o r a r y s o c i a l and e conomic p r o b l e m s and t h e mechanisms o f t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l s y s t e m . 15 The o n l y work d e a l i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h t h e u r b a n s l u m i s J a m a i c a n s o c i o l o g i s t O r l a n d o P a t t e r s o n ' s (1964) n o v e l The Children of Sisyphus, i n w h i c h he has c r e a t i v e l y c a p t u r e d t h e s p i r i t o f l i f e i n the s l u m s . T h r o u g h o u t th e n o v e l d a i l y s t r u g g l e s f o r s u r v i v a l a r e v i v i d l y p o r t r a y e d . Here a g a i n , t h e s l u m i s t r e a t e d i n i s o l a t i o n f r o m th e r e s t o f J a m a i c a n s o c i e t y . One c o u l d t h e o r i z e t h a t t h e f r e q u e n t a p p r o a c h of l o o k i n g at v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f J a m a i c a n s o c i e t y as s e p a r a t e e n t i t i e s i s p o s s i b l y a r e f l e c t i o n o f the n a t u r e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f d e p e n d e n t c a p i t a l i s t c o u n t r i e s w i t h i n the i n t e r n a t i o n a l s y s t e m . The S e t t i n g Numerous slums and s h a n t y town s e t t l e m e n t s dot K i n g s t o n ' s l a n d s c a p e . West K i n g s t o n was c h o s e n as t h e a r e a o f s t u d y as i t i s an e s t a b l i s h e d slum and d i s p l a y s t h e t y p i c a l f e a t u r e s o f the u r b a n s l u m i n c l u d i n g (a) h i g h unemployment (b) p o o r h o u s i n g (c) a b s e n c e of or p o o r s o c i a l a m e n i t i e s (d) o v e r c r o w d i n g and (e) h i g h r a t e o f c r i m e . B e c a u s e o f t h e s e f e a t u r e s t h i s slum r e p r e s e n t s a m i c r o c o s m o f a l l o f K i n g s t o n ' s s l u m s . The p o p u l a t i o n of t h e West K i n g s t o n a r e a i n 1979 was 25,194. I t was p r e d o m i n a n t l y b l a c k w i t h a s p a t -t e r i n g of E a s t I n d i a n s , commonly r e f e r r e d t o by t h e l o c a l r e s i d e n t s as coolies. S i n c e 1969, the a r e a has been 16 d i v i d e d i n t o three p a r i s h c o u n c i l d i v i s i o n s : (1) T i v o l i Gardens, (2) Denham Town, and (3) Hannah Town. T i v o l i Gardens has been upgraded with low income concrete a p a r t -ments. Denham Town and Hannah Town have not been up-graded. Denham Town was chosen as the s p e c i f i c area of study because of i t s long h i s t o r y of being a high d e n s i t y slum and i t s r e s i d e n t i a l p a t t e r n ( i . e . a predominance of rundown tenements). Hannah Town was e l i m i n a t e d because i t s commercial nature d i d not s u i t my research i n t e r e s t concerning f a m i l y and tenancy p a t t e r n s . The f a c t that no s o c i o l o g i c a l study of t h i s type had been done i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r area, added to the d e c i s i o n . The Denham Town slum i s s i t u a t e d i n an area where much of the land i s occupied by the l a r g e s t ceme-t e r y , the l a r g e s t government market (C o r o n a t i o n ) , the p u b l i c h o s p i t a l , the p u b l i c morgue and the l a r g e s t num-bers of f u n e r a l p a r l o u r s , the Jamaica Railway Corpora-t i o n , the A b b a t o i r , the main sewage p l a n t and the c i t y ' s major garbage d i s p o s a l p l a n t . The p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g of the slum i s i n d i c a t i v e of the l i f e - s t y l e w i t h i n i t . Denham Town's p o p u l a t i o n i n 1979 was 10,676 although the p o p u l a t i o n of my study area was c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s , numbering 3,500. T h i s s m a l l e r area, c o n s i s t i n g of the f e a t u r e s t y p i c a l of the slum, was d e l i n e a t e d using the boundaries of the enumeration d i s t r i c t s of the 1970 Census (see Appendix 1). 17 Within the slum poverty i s a stark r e a l i t y . The i n h a b i t a n t s eke out a p r e c a r i o u s e x i s t e n c e as a con-sequence of the high rat e of unemployment. Men and women are c o n s t a n t l y i n the s t r e e t s and i n the tenement yards at v a r i o u s hours of the night and day. Young c h i l d r e n p l a y i n the s t r e e t s . T h e i r c l o t h e s are u s u a l l y d i r t y and t h e i r noses runny. One informant i n d i c a t e d to me that the mode of dress of the c h i l d r e n ( i . e . t h e i r being spar-s e l y clothed) g i v e s the impression of an A f r i c a n e n v i r o n -ment "wen yu s i de pickney dem yu t i n k se yu de a A f r i -c a , " (Looking at the c h i l d r e n reminds one of being i n A f r i c a ) . The A f r i c a n c o n t i n e n t i s u s u a l l y viewed p e j o r a -t i v e l y . T h i s a t t i t u d e i s rooted i n the a l i e n a t i o n of most Jamaicans from t h e i r A f r i c a n h e r i t a g e . T h i s a l i e n a -t i o n has i t s foundation i n s l a v e r y . Some of the r e s i d e n t s are a t t i r e d i n ragged c l o t h e s , some of which are i n t a c t but are s t y l i s t i c a l l y a few gen e r a t i o n s i n the pas t . The c l o t h e s of many of the o l d e r people are u s u a l l y too la r g e f o r t h e i r emanciated bodies and many have i n d i c a t e d that they are "handouts." Some r e s i d e n t s are shod" but o f t e n t h e i r shoes are_ we l l worn and i n need of r e p a i r while others are bar e f o o t e d . There i s a mark of misery on many f a c e s . T h i s misery i s shown by h a b i t u a l d i s t o r t i o n of the f a c i a l s t r u c t u r e . T h i s d i s t o r t i o n i s emphasized by the heat of the sun which r e f l e c t s from the a s p h a l t . The sun a l s o r e f l e c t s 18 from z i n c r o o f s of some houses. A t o p i c at the f o r e f r o n t of most c o n v e r s a t i o n s i s a common complaint - lack of money. The r e s i d e n t s r e f e r to themselves as s u f f e r e r s , s c u f f l e r s , b a b y - m o t h e r s and b a b y - f a t h e r s . Some are a c t i v e l y begging, gambling or s e l l i n g a v a r i e t y of small commodities such as f r u i t s , eggs, matches, z i p p e r s and spools of thread. There i s a constant reminder of the poor d r a i n -age system w i t h i n the slum as there i s always water runn-ing down the narrow g u t t e r s on the s i d e s of the s t r e e t s . The g u t t e r s are i n v a r i a b l y strewn with garbage. P i l e s of garbage are a common s i g h t i n the area and among the r e -fuse mangy dogs rummage f o r food. The manginess of these dogs seems to bear a c l o s e resemblance to the s o c i a l con-d i t i o n s of the slum. The people on the s t r e e t s tend to congregate around the s p a r s e l y stocked shops and rum bars. Much d r i n k i n g takes plac e w i t h i n these bars at a l l hours of the day. On s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s , men and women are seen stumbling out of the bars onto the s t r e e t s . Sometimes, i n t h e i r drunken s t a t e , a few r e g u l a r s look towards h e a v e n and give vent to t h e i r f e e l i n g s of f r u s t r a t i o n and anger by shouting l o c a l o b s c e n i t i e s . T h i s appears to be a d e f i a n c e of t h e i r s o c i a l world as the expressions tend not t o be s o c i a l l y a cceptable by the s o c i e t y • a g a i n s t 19 which they r a i l . On the whole, there tends to be much d i s c u s s i o n about everyday l i f e but part y p o l i t i c s , e s p e c i a l l y p o l i t i c i a l v i o l e n c e w i t h i n the slum, appear to dominate the scene. Poverty and misery are expressed i n the slum through a great deal of t e n s i o n which i s o f t e n manifested i n q u a r r e l s between neighbours or between tenants l i v i n g i n the same yards. Sometimes these q u a r r e l s i n v o l v e pro-blems with male-female r e l a t i o n s h i p s or problems with c h i l d r e n . A common reason f o r q u a r r e l s i s the use, wit h -out p e r m i s s i o n , of domestic items belonging to others, such as detergent substances and t o i l e t r i e s . Although these p o s s e s s i o n s may seem i n s i g n i f i c a n t , to most slum d w e l l e r s they represent luxury items p r i c e d beyond reach. Some tenants t r y to hide these items, but given that many tenants share the same s a n i t a r y f a c i l i t i e s , t h i s i s not always p o s s i b l e . Sometimes these q u a r r e l s are r e s o l v e d by f i g h t i n g , and on many occasions women are seen f i g h t i n g i n the s t r e e t s . Some women c a r r y knives on t h e i r persons and under these circumstances, the knives are used. They tend to be of the k i t c h e n v a r i e t y , u n l i k e the rachet knives c a r r i e d by the men. The winner of these f i g h t s seems to be determined to r i p to shreds the c l o t h e s of her opponent l e a v i n g her p r a c t i c a l l y naked. During these f i g h t s , there i s much c u r s i n g which 20 r e i n f o r c e s the o r i g i n a l m o t i v a t i o n f o r the f i g h t . I have witnessed the same s i t u a t i o n among young school g i r l s i n the slums, the only d i f f e r e n c e being the absence of k n i v e s . Young boys a l s o tend to be i n v o l v e d i n f i g h t s , but t h e i r o b j e c t i v e i s that of a show of s t r e n g t h , which p l a y s a major r o l e i n t h e i r a d u l t l i f e . Men do not u s u a l l y f i g h t but they threaten others with rachet k n i v e s . Some are known gunmen and t h i s acts as a d e t e r r e n t to p r o s p e c t i v e a d v e r s a r i e s . Since cars a r e . g e n e r a l l y absent from the slum, unmarked p o l i c e cars stand out. They c r u i s e through the area r e g u l a r l y and the young men complain of c o n t i n u a l harrassment by the p o l i c e . ,The slum dwellers r e f e r to the p o l i c e as t i c k s ( p a r a s i t e s ) and i d e n t i f y them by the c o l o u r s of the cars they d r i v e . For example, they t a l k of s i l v e r t i c k s , b l u e t i c k s or g r e e n t i c k s . On s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s during my own d i s c u s s i o n s with young men, a •police car would slowly approach us. The occupants u s u a l l y s t a r e d at us and then drove slowly on. The young men i n d i c a t e d that on such occasions they were not h a r r -assed because of my presence as an o u t s i d e r . They i n d i -cated that they were a l s o f r e e from harrassment i f they were with the o l d e r and more r e s p e c t a b l e r e s i d e n t s of the slum. When alone, however, they tend to be harrassed and would sooner run f o r cover than face c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the p o l i c e . 21 Pickpockets tended to congregate i n groups and leave the slum i n groups although they worked s e p a r a t e l y or i n p a i r s . They proved d i f f i c u l t to i n t e r v i e w as some of them complained that as I had nothing to o f f e r them, they were l o s i n g money by standing around and t a l k i n g to me. For me, t h i s p o i n t was w e l l taken, as r e s e a r c h e r s have a tendency to f o r g e t the value of t h e i r informants' time. Pregnant women were f r e q u e n t l y seen on the s t r e e t s i n t h e i r t i g h t l y f i t t e d dresses and were u s u a l l y b a r e f o o t e d . Given the m a t e r i a l poverty of the area, t h i s mode of a t t i r e i s an i n d i c a t i o n that they could not a f f o r d e x t r a c l o t h i n g f o r t h i s temporary p e r i o d . Due to the absence of a play area i n many y a r d s c h i l d r e n c o n s t a n t l y played i n the s t r e e t s . Shortage of money r e s u l t e d i n the i m p r o v i s a t i o n of equipment f o r c e r t a i n games. Milk boxes were used as b a l l s and d i s -carded t i n s as wickets i n games of c r i c k e t . O v e r a l l , the s e t t i n g of the slum seemed to r e f l e c t a great degree of m a t e r i a l poverty. T h i s was i n c o n t r a s t to the a f f l u e n c e demonstrated i n c e r t a i n other p a r t s of the c i t y . For i n s t a n c e , "the man who l i v e s i n the suburb of St. Andrew on a o n e - t h i r d acre l o t of land with h i s wife and two c h i l d r e n , must r e a l i z e that a l o t of t h i s same s i z e would house over 70 persons in West Kingston." (Seaga 1963:6) 22 G a i n i n g E n t r y t o t h e S e t t i n g B e i n g a J a m a i c a n , r e t u r n i n g t o my homeland t o do f i e l d w o r k seemed t r o u b l e - f r e e enough. Not n e e d i n g a v i s a meant I c o u l d s t a y as l o n g as I c h o s e . As t h e J a m a i c a n government d i d n o t demand my r e s e a r c h p r o p o s a l o r need t o i s s u e a p p r o v a l of i t , I d i d not have t o s i t t h r o u g h a l o n g w a i t i n g p e r i o d i n Canada. A l l t h i s seemed f i n e , u n t i l I a r r i v e d i n J a m a i c a and r e a l i z e d t h a t I was n o t p r e p a r e d f o r t h e s i t u a t i o n t h a t c o n f r o n t e d me. The v i o l e n c e i n t h e s l u m was v i e w e d as u n p r e d i c t a b l e . Many p e o p l e warned t h a t even i f I were a c c e p t e d by t h e slum d w e l l e r s I c o u l d r u n i n t o d i f f i c u l t i e s b e cause of t h e p o l i t i c a l v i o l e n c e i n t h e a r e a . Many i n d i c a t e d t h e p o s s -i b i l i t y o f my g e t t i n g c a u g h t i n a c r o s s f i r e between o p p o s i n g p o l i t i c a l p a r t y gun men. I was a d v i s e d by my f a m i l y , f r i e n d s and a c a d e m i c c o l l e a g u e s not t o u n d e r t a k e a r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t t h a t c o u l d p o s s i b l y e n danger my l i f e . Some c o l l e a g u e s e v e n s u g g e s t e d t h a t I would be s a f e r s t u d y i n g t h e m i d d l e and u p p e r c l a s s e s . I was f r e q u e n t l y t o l d t h a t I needed t o have a p o l i t i c a l c o n t a c t w i t h i n t h e s l u m . T h i s was n e c e s s a r y b e c a u s e a t the t i m e , t h e y e a r 1979, t h e slums were p o l i t i c a l l y c o n t r o l l e d and o u t s i d e r s e n t e r i n g w i t h o u t s u c h c o n t a c t s would be v i e w e d w i t h s u s -p i c i o n . T h i s p r e s e n t e d a p r o b l e m f o r me as I d i d not know anyone w i t h p o l i t i c a l c o n t a c t s w i t h i n t h e s l u m . 23 F a m i l y , f r i e n d s and c o l l e a g u e s p u t me i n t o u c h w i t h p o l i -t i c i a n s , o r o t h e r s such as p a s t o r s , who c o u l d e v e n t u a l l y make c o n t a c t s f o r me. T h i s p r o v e d f u t i l e i n t h e end. Some o f t h e p o l i t i c i a n s had no c l o u t i n t h e s l u m I had c h o s e n t o s t u d y . O t h e r s who p o s s i b l y had some c l o u t , c h o s e , f o r w h a t e v e r r e a s o n s , t o i g n o r e me. One p a s t o r had h i s own d o c t o r a l r e s e a r c h p l a n and i n exchange f o r h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n , e x p e c t e d me t o h e l p w i t h h i s r e s e a r c h . He p o i n t e d o u t t h a t by h e l p i n g w i t h h i s r e s e a r c h I t o o c o u l d g e t a t h e s i s o u t o f i t . I f l a t l y r e f u s e d . Some c o l l e a g u e s s u g g e s t e d t h a t I s w i t c h t o slums where t h e y had p o l i t i c a l c o n n e c t i o n s . T h i s was a l s o u n a p p e a l i n g , a s my o b j e c t i v e was t o c a r r y o u t r e s e a r c h i n a s p e c i f i c s l u m . The p a r t i c u l a r s l u m I had c h o s e n d a t e d back t o t h e p e r i o d o f s l a v e r y and was i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e I was i n t e r -e s t e d i n i n v e s t i g a t i n g i t i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l c o n t i n u i t y . I n r e t r o s p e c t , t h i s adamant s t a n c e t o w a r d s my c h o i c e of a s l u m w i t h s u c h a h i s t o r y was u n c a l l e d f o r , a s I was l a t e r t o d i s c o v e r t h a t h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l on slums i n J a m a i c a i s p r a c t i c a l l y n o n - e x i s t e n t . A f t e r t h r e e weeks, a s t r o n g f e e l i n g o f f r u s t r a -t i o n began t o o v e r t a k e me a n d I began w o n d e r i n g i f I woul d e v e r make i t i n t o t h e s l u m . An o l d f a m i l y f r i e n d , a d e t e c t i v e , s e e i n g my f r u s t r a t i o n , o f f e r e d t o walk w i t h me i n t o t h e s l u m d r e s s e d i n h i s o f f i c i a l u n i f o r m . 2 4 Despite my f r u s t r a t i o n , being aware of the antagonism between most slum d w e l l e r s and the p o l i c e , I r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s would have been d i s a s t r o u s . I was convinced that no one would have spoken to me i f I had undertaken t h i s venture. I decided to organize my own contacts i n a d i r e c t manner and expressed t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y to the Deputy Dean of the S o c i a l Science Department at the U n i -v e r s i t y of the West Indies i n Kin g s t o n . I t o l d him that I would contact the Hon. Edward Seaga, now Prime M i n i s t e r of Jamaica, but at the time, a member of Parliament f o r the slum area. He gave me a l e t t e r of i n t r o d u c t i o n . As the Deputy Dean was a f r i e n d he had already allowed me l i b r a r y access, o f f i c e space, use of the c l e r i c a l s t a f f and access to the F a c u l t y Club. I c a l l e d Seaga"s o f f i c e , t o l d h i s s e c r e t a r y my resea r c h p l a n , and she connected me d i r e c t l y to the Community Centre i n the slum. Telephone . communication proved to be a slow p r o c e s s . I f e l t that I was c o n s t a n t l y being s t a l l e d . I somehow managed to communicate my d e s p e r a t i o n to the community o r g a n i z e r and s h o r t l y found myself i n the slum t r y i n g to nego t i a t e d i r e c t l y . My f e a r must have been e v i d e n t , because the f i r s t group of people with whom I spoke asked me i f people on the o u t s i d e had "poisoned my mind" a g a i n s t them. I admitted to hearing that the slum was de s c r i b e d 25 as v i o l e n t . As a matter of f a c t i t has been r e f e r r e d to as Kingston's most v i o l e n t slum. They responded by asking me to convey to o u t s i d e r s that they were a p e a c e f u l people and would b r i n g harm to no one. A f t e r meeting with the community o r g a n i z e r con-c e r n i n g my p r o j e c t , she introduced me to others working i n the c e n t r e . Among these was the c o u n c i l l o r of the area who walked me through the slum and gave me i t s h i s -t o r y . He f u r t h e r introduced me to some key people. T h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n proved very u s e f u l as he was'born and r a i s e d w i t h i n the slum, knew i t w e l l , and was h i g h l y respected by most of the r e s i d e n t s . During my f i r s t week w i t h i n the slum, people r e f e r r e d to the f a c t that they had seen me with him. For me, t h i s was very p o s i t i v e , as people seemed w i l l i n g to i n t e r a c t . I had access to o f f i c e space in h i s b u i l d i n g and a l s o at the Community Centre. Since most of my i n t e r v i e w s took place o u t s i d e of the o f f i c e , I used these spaces as pl a c e s to s t a r t o f f i n the mornings before my i n t e r v i e w s and a l s o as places to r e s t during the day. S h o r t l y a f t e r s e t t i n g up these arrangements -something very t r a g i c o c c u r r e d . An important ghetto hero was m u r d e r e d by the p o l i c e and most of the slum dwellers went i n t o mourning. I t was impossible to c a r r y out i n t e r v i e w s at t h i s time, so I stayed away f o r about two 26 weeks, d o i n g l i b r a r y r e s e a r c h and i n t e r v i e w s o u t s i d e t h e s l u m . T h r o u g h o u t the r e s e a r c h p e r i o d , i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n t h e s lum were s h o t and sometimes k i l l e d . T h e r e was a n a g g i n g f e a r of h a v i n g t o d i s c o n t i n u e my p r o j e c t , b u t somehow, the slum k e p t i t s c a l m and I was a b l e t o com-p l e t e i t . Methods o f F i e l d w o r k Most o f t h e d a t a f o r t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n were g a t h e r e d between 1978 a n d 1979. The h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s were o b t a i n e d f r o m t h e U n i v e r s i t y l i b r a r i e s , t h e I n s t i -t u t e o f J a m a i c a , I n s t i t u t e o f S o c i a l and E conomic R e s e a r c h , U n i v e r s i t y o f t h e West I n d i e s , s o c i a l a g e n c i e s , government d e p a r t m e n t s , newspapers and newspaper l i b r a r -i e s . The e t h n o g r a p h i c a c c o u n t i s d e r i v e d f r o m p a r t i -c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n f i e l d w o r k d a t a c o l l e c t e d f r o m th e West K i n g s t o n s l u m . T h i s was a d e l i b e r a t e c h o i c e as i t a l l o w -ed me t o i n t e r a c t d i r e c t l y w i t h a g r o u p o f p e o p l e who t e n d e d t o be more v e r b a l t h a t s c r i b a l . The h i g h r a t e o f i l l i t e r a c y , e s p e c i a l l y among t h e o l d e r r e s i d e n t s , p r o b a b -l y a c c o u n t s f o r t h i s . A l t h o u g h a l a r g e number of t h e p e o p l e i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e y c o u l d r e a d and w r i t e , many ex-h i b i t e d s i g n s of l a p s e d l i t e r a c y ( p o s s i b l y due t o l a c k o f e x p o s u r e t o r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s ) . 27 I a l s o had i n t e n d e d t o use a t a p e r e c o r d e r but s o o n became s k e p t i c a l as p e o p l e e x p r e s s e d a c e r t a i n d e g r e e of a p p r e h e n s i o n t o w a r d s i t . T h i s seemed u n d e r -s t a n d a b l e , as a t t h e t i m e a w e l l p u b l i c i z e d e n q u i r y i n t o t h e Spy R o b i n s o n A f f a i r was t a k i n g p l a c e . T h i s was a p o l i t i c a l s c a n d a l i n v o l v i n g the e x t e n s i v e use of t a p e r e c o r d e r s t h e r e b y i m p l i c a t i n g some w e l l known p o l i t i -c i a n s . Many p e o p l e e q u a t e d the c a s e t o t h a t o f W a t e r g a t e i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and r e f e r r e d t o i t as L i t t l e Water-g a t e . A t t h i s p o i n t , f o r f e a r o f j e o p a r d i z i n g p o t e n t i a l d a t a or g o i n g a g a i n s t members' b e t t e r j u d g e m e n t s , the i d e a o f u s i n g a t a p e r e c o r d e r was abandoned. T h r e e o t h e r r e a s o n s r e i n f o r c e d t h i s d e c i s i o n : (1) b e c a u s e of the n a t u r e o f t e n s i o n and s u s p i c i o n w h i c h I f e l t e x i s t e d w i t h i n t h e s lum, I c o n s i d e r e d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of b e i n g h e l d h o s t a g e f o r any i n f o r m a t i o n on t a p e t h a t m i g h t t h r e a t e n i n d i v i d u a l s or g r o u p s , (2) c a r r y i n g e x p e n s i v e e q u i p m e n t c o u l d make me an e a s y t a r g e t f o r p i c k p o c k e t s g i v e n t h e e c o n o m i c s i t u a t i o n , and (3) most of t h e s l u m d w e l l e r s spoke C r e o l e E n g l i s h , p a t o i s w h i c h would p r e s e n t added d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h l a t e r t r a n s c r i p t i o n . The f i r s t few weeks of the r e s e a r c h were s p e n t m e e t i n g p e o p l e and o r i e n t i n g m y s e l f t o the g e o g r a p h i c a l a r e a . Most i m p o r t a n t l y , I was i n t r o d u c e d t o a young man who had grown up i n t h e a r e a and knew i t v e r y w e l l . He 28 had s u c c e s s f u l l y c o m p l e t e d h i g h s c h o o l but l i k e o t h e r y o u t h s , was unemployed and had been f o r t h r e e y e a r s . He became my r e s e a r c h a s s i s t a n t and f o r t h e f i r s t few months a s s i s t e d me i n l o c a t i n g c e r t a i n p e o p l e and p l a c e s . A f t e r d e v e l o p i n g a known p r e s e n c e i n t h e a r e a , I was a b l e t o c a r r y o u t my r e s e a r c h on my own w i t h o u t f e a r , a l t h o u g h my a s s i s t a n t was a l w a y s on hand s h o u l d t h e need a r i s e . A n o t i c e a b l e f e a t u r e of t h e s l u m was the v a s t numbers o f p e o p l e on t h e s t r e e t s a t a l l t i m e s . J a n e J a c o b s , i n T h e D e a t h a n d L i f e o f G r e a t A m e r i c a n Cities?, c l a s s i f i e s s u c h b e h a v i o u r w i t h i n a n e i g h b o u r h o o d as h e a l t h y . She a r g u e s t h a t e v e r y o n e can be an o v e r s e e r o f e v e r y o n e e l s e , and t h i s t e n d s t o f o s t e r a c e r t a i n d e g r e e o f s e c u r i t y . I f p e o p l e were not c o n g r e g a t i n g i n t h e s t r e e t s , s t a n d i n g a r o u n d , h u s t l i n g t h e i r t r a d e , s i t t i n g by f o o d s t a l l s o r on t h e s i d e w a l k s , t h e y were i n t h e i r y a r d s d o i n g d o m e s t i c c h o r e s s u c h as w a s h i n g , i r o n i n g , c o o k i n g , c l e a n i n g o r u t i l i z i n g t h e i r y a r d s a s work-p l a c e s . The s e l f - e m p l o y e d , f o r example, were c a r p e n t e r s , m e c h a n i c a l r e p a i r e r s , p l u m b e r s , c a b i n e t and d r e s s m a k e r s , s t e e l m e t a l w o r k e r s , house p a i n t e r s , and s m a l l s h o p -k e e p e r s . My d e c i s i o n t o l i v e o u t s i d e t h e slum and comm-u t e d a i l y c o u l d be v i e w e d as a s h o r t c o m i n g , but t h i s d i d n o t seem t o be a p r o b l e m f o r my r e s e a r c h o r the s l u m 29 d w e l l e r s . I s t r o n g l y f e l t that my l i v i n g in the slum would present an i m p o s i t i o n on the l i f e s t y l e s of the f a m i l y concerned because of the problem of l i m i t e d housing space. Added to t h i s d e c i s i o n , I funded my own r e s e a r c h and needed to economize, hence free accommoda-t i o n with my r e l a t i v e s proved h e l p f u l . Most people appeared open and f r i e n d l y and expressed p l e a s u r e that I was i n t e r e s t e d i n l e a r n i n g about them. They i n d i c a t e d that - "nobody nuh come roun ya so." "A l i k e seh we no part a Jamaica" (no one v i s i t s us, i t i s as i f t h i s area i s not a part of Jamaica). They were concerned about t h e i r v i o l e n t image and asked me to communicate to others that although there were a few b a d p e o p l e .most of them were g o o d . Although I was open i n t e l l i n g the slum d w e l l e r s my reason f o r being t h e r e , many seemed puzzled and asked me i f I got paid f o r my work. On hearing that I d i d not, they appeared even more p u z z l e d . By the frequency of the queries i t seemed d i f f i c u l t f o r the people i n the Kingston slum, s t r u g g l i n g to s u r v i v e , to understand the r o l e of the r e s e a r c h e r . Many people wanted to know i f I were there to h e l p them. Some d i s c r e e t l y asked i f I were from the government. Given the p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e , a p o s i t i v e answer would most l i k e l y have put me i n the category of a "spy." I n f o r -mants i n v o l v e d i n i l l e g a l a c t i v i t i e s o b v i o u s l y found i t 30 necessary to determine whether or not I were an under-cover agent. Consequently, I was i n v a r i a b l y questioned i n very s u b t l e ways about t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . At times I was o f f e r e d f r u i t s from s t a l l s , s k y j u i c e (water and f r u i t s y r u p ) , tamarind b a l l s , and s u c k -s u c k ( f l a v o u r e d i c e cubes). In t h i s s e t t i n g , people d i d not go out of t h e i r way to o f f e r food. I f one dropped i n at meal time, one was then o f f e r e d a part of that meal, r e g a r d l e s s of how meagre i t was. The o f f e r of a l c o h o l i c beverages, soda pop, tea or c o f f e e , so common t o Jamaican h o s p i t a l i t y , d i d not occur here. T h i s i s understandable, as these are expensive items. People i n the slum regu-l a r l y make "tea" from v a r i o u s bushes in the neighbourhood or buy i t cheaply from the l o c a l market. They tend, how-ever, to f e e l embarrassed about o f f e r i n g i t to s t r a n -g e r s . T h i s a t t i t u d e seems to be t i e d to some o v e r a l l i d e o l o g y which d e c l a r e s that "anything l o c a l i s not good." I t was w i t h i n t h i s m i l i e u that I c a r r i e d out some of my o b s e r v a t i o n s , sometimes t a l k i n g to women wash-ing c l o t h e s f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s or f o r f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n s , or to men r e p a i r i n g cars and b i c y c l e s . At times, I sat under a tree i n a y a r d or with informants on the s i d e -walks. At other times I interviewed w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of the homes of informants. 31 A l t h o u g h t h e s e t t i n g was u s u a l l y i n f o r m a l , I u s e d a s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w s c h e d u l e ( s e e A p p e n d i x 2), a s i t was i m p o r t a n t t o g e t a t s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n r e l a t i n g t o the r e s e a r c h p r o b l e m . The P r o b l e m T h e r e i s a g e n e r a l t e n d e n c y t o view t h e s l u m as an i s o l a t e d s o c i o - e c o n o m i c e n t i t y . In s i t u a t i n g the s l u m i n J a m a i c a , I t r e a t i t as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of J a m a i c a n s o c i e t y . The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s a p p r o a c h i s t o show t h a t w h i l e t h e slum a p p e a r s t o be a r e d u n d a n t b y - p r o d u c t o f J a m a i c a ' s d e v e l o p m e n t , i t i s t h e r e s i d e n c e of slum d w e l l -e r s . T h e s e s l u m d w e l l e r s do c o n t r i b u t e e c o n o m i c a l l y by c r e a t i n g t h e i r own j o b s t h u s r e l i e v i n g t h e s t a t e of i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Most of t h e s e s e l f - c r e a t e d j o b s r e c y c l e waste m a t e r i a l s , t r a n s f o r m i n g them i n t o new p r o d u c t s . By p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e e l e c t o r a l p r o c e s s the slum d w e l l e r s c o n t r i b u t e p o l i t i c a l l y by p r o p p i n g up the c a r e e r s o f p o l -i t i c i a n s . T h i s p r o c e s s i s m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h t h e p r o m i s e of j o b s and b e t t e r h o u s i n g , b o t h o f w h i c h a r e i n s h o r t s u p p l y i n t h i s s l u m . S o c i a l l y t h e r e s i d e n t s a r e a t h r e a t t o t h e members o f t h e w o r k f o r c e , who a r e c o m p e l l e d t o a c c e p t p o o r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s and low wages. T h i s , i n t u r n , i s b e n e f i c i a l t o e m p l o y e r s . 32 J a m a i c a i s v i e w e d as a dependent c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y . The main f e a t u r e o f such a s o c i e t y i s t h a t t h e i n d u s t r i a l and f i n a n c i a l s e c t o r s a r e f o r e i g n - c o n t r o l l e d . As B e c k f o r d e x p l a i n s : J a m a i c a ' s e x p o r t i n g i n d u s t r i e s a r e t i e d t o the d e v e l o p e d w o r l d . T h i s o c c u r s t h r o u g h th e use o f employment t h a t i s i m p o r t e d , t e c h n o l o g y , raw m a t e r i a l s , f o r e i g n f i n a n c e and f o r -e i g n m a r k e t s . These a p p l y t o baux-i t e , s u g a r , t o u r i s m and m a n u f a c t u r -i n g . T h i s a l l o w s f o r a c e r t a i n t w i s t e d p a t t e r n o f p r o d u c t i o n i n t h e s e n s e t h a t J a m a i c a n s a r e a t a d i s a d -v a n t a g e s i n c e t h e y f i n d t h e m s e l v e s p a y i n g h i g h p r i c e s f o r i m p o r t s and r e c e i v i n g low p r i c e s f o r e x p o r t s . W h i l e the i n d u s t r i e s a r e i n t e g r a t e d w i t h i n t h e d e v e l o p e d economy, one f i n d s t h a t r e f i n i n g of t h e s e p r o d u c t s w h i c h i s more p r o f i t a b l e t a k e s p l a c e o u t s i d e J a m a i c a . The h o t e l s , f o r i n s t a n c e , h a r d l y use J a m a i c a n commo-d i t i e s . M a n u f a c t u r i n g u s e s l i t t l e o f J a m a i c a ' s a b u n d a n t l a b o u r , b e c a u s e most m a n u f a c t u r i n g companies a r e a s s e m b l y b r a n c h p l a n t s ( 1 9 8 0 : 8 1 ) . J a m a i c a n s o c i e t y r e f l e c t s a c l a s s s t r u c t u r e w h i c h r e -s ponds t o t h e e conomic i m b a l a n c e s g e n e r a t e d by s u c h c o n -t r o l . The s l u m u n d e r s t u d y m i r r o r s t h i s c o n d i t i o n . Some major s t r u c t u r a l f e a t u r e s s u c h as t h e l e g -a c y o f s l a v e r y , the e d u c a t i o n a l s y s t e m , r a c i s m and c l a s s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n e x p l a i n how t h e s lum i s c r e a t e d and m a i n -t a i n e d . Mechanism of s u r v i v a l d e v i s e d by s l u m d w e l l e r s a r e d e s c r i b e d and a n a l y z e d . T h i s s t u d y a l s o shows t h a t 33 by t h e i r v e r y e f f o r t t o s u r v i v e , s lum d w e l l e r s not o n l y c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e s o c i e t y but a l s o a i d i n t h e p e r p e t u a -t i o n o f t h e i r s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s . T h i s i s a c c o m p l i s h e d t h r o u g h th e s o c i a l and