The Historical Background
During periods of acute social and economic crisis that result in the restructuring of relations between the dominant and the dominated, some factions among the ruling class of a given stratified society will strive to maintain or reestablish the legitimacy of their elevated place within the social order. A key element within the greater process of legitimation is the negotiation of the meaning of material culture (Leone and Potter, 1988; Miller and Tilley, 1984; Shanks and Tilley, 1987); a crucial part of such recurring negotiation is the constant redefinition of space (Lefebvre, 1991:349). In the chapters to follow, I will consider how space was manipulated in nineteenth-century Jamaica, particularly by analyzing manifestations of the three elements of space outlined in Chapter 2. As this is inherently a historical study of plantation life in Jamaica, I will also discuss the historical processes that resulted in the spatial restructuring of nineteenth-century Jamaica. The historical review presented in this chapter considers how contemporary observers perceived the historical crisis gripping Jamaica.
KeywordsWage Labor Early Nineteenth Century Coffee Production Slave Labor Competitive Capitalism
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