Plantation Society and Creole Society
Plantation Society and Creole Society There is a vast range of cultural diversity in the Caribbean today. In this paper, I would be discussing the similarities and differences found between the plantation society model and the Creole society model.
The plantation model was developed in the late 1960’s. According to the book Mustapha (2009), the plantation system played a dominant role in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the Caribbean.
George Beckford (1972) saw the plantation system as a total economic institution, where ‘the internal and external dimensions of the plantation system dominate the countries’ economic, social and political structure and their relation with the rest of the world’ (p. 102). Within the plantation model, the social structure is reflective of the authoritarian structure which governs economic organization.
Creolization was originated with Edward Kamau Brathwaite. According to Brathwaite in the book Sociology for Caribbean Students, Creolization is defined as a process of change and adaptation that occurs over time.
It also goes on to explain that in the Caribbean, the mixture of languages, religious rituals, musical expressions, cuisine and people, represent the Creolization of Caribbean culture and society. Creolization involves acculturation and interculturation. Acculturation as defined in the book as a process in which contacts between different cultural groups lead to acquisition of new cultural patters by subordinate groups, while interculturation is defined as the mutual, symbiotic exchange of cultural traits. The Creole society and the plantation society are two different societies.
Even though there are differences, these two models are linked in a way. In the article entitled ‘Caribbean Political Culture’ Creolization came about from slavery, colonization and also the plantation system. Plantation society fostered assimilation from the day of ‘discovery’, as the Europeans suppressed the cultural beliefs and practices of all groups they encountered (Mustapha 2009, p. 104). In the Creole society, the Africans and the Indians acculturated, which is defined as the extensive borrowing of cultural traits by one group from another (Mustapha 2009, p.
3). the Europeans on the other hand interculterated, which is defined as the exchange of cultural traits between groups in society (Mustapha 2009, p. 93) According to an article entitled ‘Caribbean Political Culture’, I understand that in both society models, different groups or cultures are placed in a superior/ inferior relationship to each other. In the Creole and plantation model, blacks were on the lowest ground on the social ladder. In my view I would say that they did not play in any part in decision making.
Unlike the Creole society, the plantation society is considered structured and organization. Both societies played a dominant role in the social, political and cultural life of the Caribbean. In the plantation model, in regards to the social life, slaves had to communicate with the owners. After reading Mustapha (2009) (p. 104), it appears that the plantation model was a unit of authority controlling every aspect of people’s lives which had no local technological advancement.
These people were not able to make a decision on their own, which I find as taking away their rights which is injustice.
This model focused too much on the institution, rather on the needs of the people. Everyone has feelings, but in this case, it was all inhumane activities. Within this system, racism, discrimination and inequality were also on a high level because there were no community integration among owners and workers. The plantation model, to me, is an institution where the lives of the slaves were determined by the owners, and this shows superiority.
Which I believe is one of the reasons for the diversity of the Caribbean culture.
Although I believe that the whole idea of slavery is negative, to me, the plantation model drew on the analysis of structural dependency because no one was doing what they wanted and there weren’t confusion, there was structure, unlike a Creole society. I believe that Creolization can also be looked as cultural change because some people had to adapt themselves to another culture under force, which I would say is similar to the plantation society.
The slaves in the plantation society had to work under the condition of the owners (even though it is not what they wanted), they were forced to work under such conditions, in comparison to the Indians and Africans who were forced to imitate the Europeans. I do not agree with people working under force (plantation model). Everyone should be treated fairly. Everyone has his/her brains and should be able to make his/her own decisions on his/her own free will.
References http://www. scribd. com/doc/42634195/Caribbean-Polictical-Culture Mustapha, Nasser (2009). Sociology for Caribbean Students. Jamaica