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Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United States

Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United States: Essays on Incorporation, Identity, and Citizenship

Margarita Cervantes-Rodríguez
Ramón Grosfoguel
Eric Mielants
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 270
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  • Book Info
    Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United States
    Book Description:

    Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United Statesfeatures a diverse group of scholars from across academic disciplines studying the transnational paths of Caribbean migration. How has the colonial path of the Caribbean influenced migration with regard to power relations, ethnic identities and transnational processes?

    Through a series of case studies, the contributors to this volume examine the experiences of Caribbean immigrants to Spain, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands as well as the United States. They show the demographic, socioeconomic, political and cultural impact migrants have, as well as their role in the development of transnational social fields.Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United Statesalso examines how contrasting discourses of democracy and racism, xenophobia and globalization shape issues pertaining to citizenship and identity.

    Contributors: Elizabeth Aranda, Mary Chamberlain, Michel Giraud, Lisa Maya Knauer, John R. Logan, Monique Milia-Marie-Luce, Laura Oso Casas, Livio Sansone, Nina Glick Schiller,Charles (Wenquan) Zhang and the editors.

    eISBN: 978-1-59213-956-9
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction: Caribbean Migrations to Western Europe and the United States
    (pp. 1-17)
    Ramón Grosfoguel, Margarita Cervantes-Rodríguez and Eric Mielants

    This edited volume is the result of the colloquium “Caribbean Migrations to Western Europe and the United States” held on June 20–21, 2002, at the Maison des Science de l’Homme in Paris. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first post-9/11 conference held on Caribbean migration. The post-9/11 period is marked by “Islamophobia”—overt discrimination against Muslim people—and the invisibility of ongoing racist discrimination against old colonial/racialized subjects of empire within the metropolitan centers (Grosfoguel and Mielants 2006a). “Islamophobia” and racism toward Arabs and Muslim people are not new. Orientalist discourses have existed for at least...

  4. 1 Theorizing about and beyond Transnational Processes
    (pp. 18-40)
    Nina Glick Schiller

    In this chapter, I provide an overview of the developing field of transnational studies and the place of migration studies within it. I begin by examining the barriers that initially blocked the emergence of transnational studies. Briefly noting the emergence of four subfields, I suggest several distinctions that move us beyond some of the conceptual confusion that marked the euphoria of the emergence of a new paradigm and allow for the theory building that is now necessary. The new paradigm can facilitate the analysis of structures of power that legitimate social inequalities. At the same time, transnational studies can generate...

  5. PART I State Policies and Migrants’ Strategies

    • 2 Colonial Racism, Ethnicity, and Citizenship: The Lessons of the Migration Experiences of French-Speaking Caribbean Populations
      (pp. 43-57)
      Michel Giraud

      No immigration can be viewed simply either as an idyllic passage toward an El Dorado or as an apocalyptic descent into hell. The realities of immigration from the French Caribbean to mainland France have never fit in totally with the golden dreams that once nourished the myths of departure from Guadeloupe or Martinique. Neither have they totally justified the cut-and-dried judgments of those who, in the times of BUMIDOM,¹ compared it to a new slave trade. The fact, as indicated by Alain Anselin in a book offering the most illuminating analysis of these events to appear to date, is that...

    • 3 From the Periphery to the Core: A Case Study on the Migration and Incorporation of Recent Caribbean Immigrants in the Netherlands
      (pp. 58-93)
      Eric Mielants

      During the first half of the twentieth century, most emigration from Suriname was essentially intraregional¹—that is, within the Caribbean: to Panama during the construction of the canal, to the sugar plantations of Cuba, and to the banana crops in Central America. In 1915, Shell installed a refinery in Curaçao, and Lago built one in Aruba in 1926. Since the oil industry offered higher wages, and particularly since those islands were also part of the Dutch empire, many Surinamese easily emigrated there. In 1947, 3,900 Surinamese were in Curaçao and 1,600 were in Aruba. From a total population of 170,000,...

    • 4 Puerto Ricans in the United States and French West Indian Immigrants in France
      (pp. 94-108)
      Monique Milia-Marie-Luce

      A study of the Caribbean region reveals not only the differences between countries, but also the similarities that have resulted from a shared colonial past. However, while many fields of study benefit from comparative approaches, relatively few attempts have been made to write a comparative history of the Caribbean.¹ One could opt, for example, as does the historian Marc Bloch, to choose “in one or more different social environments, the two or more phenomena that seem, at first sight, to be similar, to describe the restraints on their development, observe the similarities and the differences, and as far as possible...

  6. PART II Identities, Countercultures, and Ethnic Resilience

    • 5 Puerto Rican Migration and Settlement in South Florida: Ethnic Identities and Transnational Spaces
      (pp. 111-130)
      Elizabeth Aranda

      Migration has long been a central component of Puerto Rican life. For the first time, more than half of all persons of Puerto Rican origin currently live in the mainland United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2006). For many years, New York City and other Northeastern cities were the most popular destinations for Puerto Ricans looking to escape island poverty and joblessness. In recent decades, Puerto Ricans have dispersed throughout the country, making their homes in emerging communities in the South and West. Florida, California, and Texas are increasingly the states of preference for Puerto Rican settlement (Acosta-Belén and Santiago 2006;...

    • 6 Racialized Culture and Translocal Counter-Publics: Rumba and Social Disorder in New York and Havana
      (pp. 131-168)
      Lisa Maya Knauer

      This chapter analyzes the social spaces of the racially marked practices of “traditional” Afro-Cuban music and religion—rumba and Santería—in the New York area and Havana. I analyze these cultural practices as shaping a translocal counter-public constituted by multidirectional flows of money, goods, practices, and people, and where varied social actors in both places craft identities through intra- and intercultural negotiation and contestation. This paper highlights two nodes within this translocal counter-public sphere of Afro-Cubanness: weekly rumba performances in the New York area that have become flashpoints for competing claims of authenticity and ownership and racialized, gendered, and class-based...

    • 7 The Making of Suriland: The Binational Development of a Black Community between the Tropics and the North Sea
      (pp. 169-188)
      Livio Sansone

      Amsterdam is an important city of the region we now know, after Paul Gilroy (1993), as the Black Atlantic. It has become so relatively recently: since the mass-immigration of people of (mixed) African descent from Suriname in the late 1960s and early ’70s; the more recent pendulum migration from the Dutch Antilles; and the even more recent immigration from a variety of African countries, especially Ghana. These migrations have turned Amsterdam into the European capital with the largest percentage of “black” people—approximately 7 percent of the 800,000 inhabitants in 2000.¹ In the Black Atlantic, Amsterdam has a special position...

  7. PART III Incorporation, Entrepreneurship, and Household Strategies

    • 8 Cubans and Dominicans: Is There a Latino Experience in the United States?
      (pp. 191-207)
      John R. Logan and Wenquan Zhang

      What we call the Hispanic population in the United States is actually a mixture of many different groups from around the world whose common link is language. As Hispanics become the nation’s largest minority (up from 22.4 million to 35.3 million in the past decade alone), it is increasingly important to understand not only the similarities but also the differences among them. This chapter focuses on Hispanic immigrants from the Caribbean and the two largest of these groups, Cubans and Dominicans. It compares them in broad strokes to other Hispanics and then focuses on their situation in their principal settlement...

    • 9 Dominican Women, Heads of Households in Spain
      (pp. 208-231)
      Laura Oso Casas

      In the late 1980s and early ’90s, Southern Europe developed into a new migratory space for immigrant reception. This new space is characterized mainly by the presence of female migratory flows in response to a demand for labor to fill unskilled and poorly paid jobs in the service sector. Unlike industrial activity, domestic service, the catering industry, personal services, and sex work cannot be exported, which leads to a demand for foreign labor and the development of female migratory flows of an economic nature. Parallel to this phenomenon is the international increase in the number of female household heads, or, to...

    • 10 Identity and Kinship: Caribbean Transnational Narratives
      (pp. 232-250)
      Mary Chamberlain

      The idea of transnationality as a feature of Caribbean families is not, of course, new. Rosina Brodber-Wiltshire (1986) first coined the term—the transnational family—referring to those bifurcated networks which were a feature of Jamaican/North American families, and has since been remarked upon by observers based both in the Caribbean and in North America, notably in the work on Caribbean migrants in New York by Constance Sutton and Susan Makiesky-Barrow (1994); Paula Aymer (1997); Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, and Christine Szanton Blanc (with their remarkableNations Unbound[1994]); Nina Glick Schiller and Georges Fouron (with their equally remarkable...

  8. About the Contributors
    (pp. 251-254)
  9. Index
    (pp. 255-261)