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Sufferer's market: sufferation and economic ethics in Jamaica

Lewis, Jovan Scott (2014) Sufferer's market: sufferation and economic ethics in Jamaica. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In Jamaica the economic environment is characterized by abiding foreign dependence, stagnant growth, and deficient development. This thesis, based on fifteen months of fieldwork in Montego Bay is concerned with the everyday understanding and management of Jamaica's adverse economy. This is explored through an ethnographic analysis of economic practice among five groups variously involved in Montego Bay's tourist sector. These groups include Sindhi merchants, local craft vendors, an artisan cooperative, a Rastafarian tour village, and local lottery scammers. Their dynamic case studies illustrate a diverse set of responses to the constricted political, economic, and social structures of the Jamaican economy, depicted as one of comprehensive and inescapable precariousness, or as a state of sufferation. This thesis examines these groups' everyday strategies and ethics of survival in sufferation, which include articulations of market failure, production, commercial skill, cultural property, and capital seizure. From these strategies emerges an understanding of how notions of history, citizenship, race, and cooperation structure the formation of economic practice, and bear upon constructions of the market.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Jovan Scott Lewis
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Supervisor: Bear, Laura and Banerjee, Mukulika

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