Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

African American Studies

Advisor(s)

Linda Carty

Keywords

Downtown, Gender, Higglers, Jamaica, Womanhood, working-class women

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

This project examines the lived experiences of higglers in Downtown, Kingston, and how they survive Jamaica’s misogynistic capitalist patriarchal society as marginalized Black working-class women. Data were gathered through a series of semi-structured and unstructured interviews, and participant observation and journal entries. My theoretical frame employed historical materialism and Black Feminist epistemological standpoints which include Caribbean, African, and ‘Third World’ feminism, through a gendered lens to deconstruct neoliberal global capitalism in neocolonial Jamaica. My project also assumes that the impact of neoliberal global capitalism that thrives on patriarchy has forced Black working-class women in Jamaican to reproduce a political consciousness of survival in the informal economy. Understanding how the legacies of (British-American) capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism provided the stimulus for Jamaica’s peripheral position on the global landscape and the ways in which sexual and gendered politics negatively affect higglers, I primarily engage discourses of difference, power, privilege, and resistance. Ultimately, I found that there is a growing anti-Black womanhood (neo)colonial gendered coded sentiment that has been culturally normalized in Jamaica.

Access

Open Access

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021

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