Critical Analysis

Roxanne E. Burton, (2007). Globalisation and Cultural Identity in Caribbean Society: The Jamaican Case, Cave Hill Barbados: University of the West Indies; pp. 13-14 

I have chosen to analyse the section, titled: ‘Responding to the Challenges’, as I feel it demonstrated the clear fundamentals of my blog outlining the difficulties of identity within Jamaica and how we have best used globalisation to redefined and form our very own Jamaican identity and Culture developed from the dominate aspect that define us,, dance, food and fashion. This section pin points how Jamaican Culture and Cultural identity has benefited from the globalisation process in one way.

From the start of the chapter, the author outlines what has moulded Jamaican Culture, Burton places music, food and dance as our primary contributes, she feels this has helped strengthen our feeling of ownership and pride within our indigenous culture. The author goes on to explain that because of our historical ties to globalisation our culture is less likely to weaken significantly but more likely to actually grow through the aim of culture imperialism. She then elaborates in detail that Jamaican Culture as it is today has developed due to subjugated historical situations and as a result of the complexities that have created a more fluid negotiation of any cultural product that encounters ours.

The author then goes on to build on the theory of cultural products and consumerism, and that Jamaicans now have more access to these products through the powerful media of cable tv, movies and internet, she relates the mainstream interaction with the local stream of creative arts as cultural products, as the impact of these arts at local level are treated some what unfairly due to the lack of profitability and saleability. The author goes on the explain that by treating the international exposure as central profit of our culture on a global scale it has had a positive effect as this not only strengthened  Jamaica’s economical growth but also our identity that is ingrained in the culture that travels around the world with more mainstream exposure for Jamaican entertainers and recording artists. As they are often signed to large overseas Agency’s, labels and stakeholder firms. Burton links the grounded-nous of identity within Jamaican culture to the consumption of products on the island currently being displayed for example there has been a influx of cheap, poorly made fashion to the stores and markets of the Jamaican street; which means people are buying more an thinking less about the individuality or identity of the garments they are now styling on there bodies.(please read fashion and the fleshy body) The author notes a key example of Jamaican consumerism, that Jamaican people spend a great amount of money on grooming and clothing, this links directing into my research of the Dancehall fashions and the idea of wanting to out do each other and impress. Burton goes on to cite Foucault,’who argued that oppressed people have the urge to ‘fix themselves’. The Author goes on to the explain that this is the origin of where Jamaicans culture has developed, ‘the need and desire to fix what is culturally not ours’ and command a type of pride and value of our multi-faceted culture and cultural identity.

The next section of the text, details the knock on effects of globalisation; where the impact of having to many races collide can cause conflict. The author stated that, ‘cultural identities do not change dramatically change even in situations where there is great upheaval such as the uprooting of persons on order to enslave them’. which would suggest to me that the identity evolves and develops as I have discussed throughout my blog. However the author expresses that the cultural identity of a typical Jamaican allows her/him to try out new experiences and switch between different types of behaviour while still maintaining one cultural identity. The author goes onto explain that she feels the problem Jamaican’s face is not because of globalisation but because of the result of a lack of reconciliation on historical experiences and the content that exist between Jamaican becoming more Eurocentric or more Afrocentric in order to level and restructure there social standing.

The last section is a lamentation of the challenges ahead and the real underlying issue of the post colonial struggle and anti-black racism as a issue that triggered the 1970’s riots in Jamaica’s Trench Town. The author explains that the challenge requires confrontation to the period of globalisation, and this will not be a challenged answered easily.


As mentioned throughout my blog in both the reflective blog and annotated bibliography the issue of  identity in Jamaica is a on going battle, however the author has argued with outstanding quality, the importance of strengthening local ownership in the Caribbean and Jamaica is key to sustaining locally based economic development. The text supports my notion of structure and operation of our cultural identity which represents the strength of the Jamaican people and which have created nation heroes. These heroes have been born because of our ongoing development to create something that is our ‘own’. This notion of celebrating the creation of icons should be taken seriously and used as tool of our on go going growth not just for cultural strengthening but our political and economical development which in turn will feed right back into our identity.


The above is a image of my thought process when analysing  and picking out the key areas of this text.


Bib 10.

Brian Meeks, (2007) Envisioning Caribbean Futures: Jamaican Perspectives, The University of the West Indies Press, pp 12-17 

This source clearly lays out the blue print for life after colonisation in the Caribbean, this book is a strong manifesto for dealing with the crisis of globalization in the post-colony through reorganisation of the system, structure and processes. What this books does for me in allow me to look with open eyes at the endless possibilities Jamaican culture will go. Much like my design work, working through the delicate issues in the Caribbean will be a long journey, but along the way there will be clear celebrations at every mile stone we grow our identity.

When creating my Textiles as marks of identity and cultural growth I will take a pragmatic look at this journey to our future, I feel it would be key to explore a visual narrative of the future much like my earlier post of Barrington Watson’s ‘Out of many One people’ Painting where we capture the Multiculturalism at the bus stop, the people at the bus stop are taking a journey into the future of some what 400 years later.

Bib 9

Ralph Paper (1996) Ethnicity and Identity in the Caribbean: Decentering a Myth, Kellogg Institute, pp.2 -6

Reading this text designated deep within me, as the author explored the truth notion of being Caribbean means you have a unique identity. The author pushes the boundaries of what Caribbean identity encompasses, and how the diverse race is celebrated through many form, of which our culture is still relatively young in comparison to many non colonised counties who have enjoyed thousands of years of freedom which in turn means years of tradition and solid cultural identity. The author further explores the notion of the future of the Caribbean as a growing and deepening band of people who are evolving the traditions of the past.

What I have taken from this source is a wider context of Caribbean identity and how that trickles down into Jamaican society, I can now evaluate the many texts within the book to best question my understanding how the wider Caribbean community feel about there identity in relation to the globalisation in Jamaica.

Bib 8.

Dr Cybele T. Gontar, (2013) Vol 14. No 1. A Fashion for Abolition, common- place Journal

The author notes how ‘Traite des Negres’ (ca.1825) production was a commemorative Toile de Jouy that celebrated the abolish of slavery and featured anti-slavery narratives on the printed paper or fabric. The Traite is a clear symbol of the Atlantic world, the central commercial slave trading zones which meant the very cotton slaves where laboring over was the very elegant printed cotton anti slavery narratives where being printed on.

This source was a very deep read as it showcases another form on communication/ historical visual textiles how best to approach the issues of sourcing. Who and where are your natural sources coming from, it’s key for me to now allow the message I am delivery to get caught up in the hypocrisy of where these cultural objects are being sources and produces.

Bib 7.

Joanne Entwistle (2007) Fashion and the Fleshy Body: Dress as Embodied Practice (Fashion Theory The Journal of Dress Body & Culture) 4(3):323-347

From this I have taken the ideology and theory of dressing the body and how much of the body we wish to cover and expose. This source relates directly to the Vulgar exhibition and how fabric, fashioned on the flesh can become vulgar in its self by exploring to much designer fabric or to less and it’s relationship to the wearer. Jamaica Dancehall culture, has this very undercurrent of sexualisation, provocativeness and sheer shock factor. This source was a fantastic read as it has allowed me to view the textiles and the Naked body in new view point. As I am dealing with swimwear design which in it’s self is a object that shows or covers up areas of the body. It will now be the areas I leave covered up or exposed that I wish to play with. Fashion and the Fleshy Body has a very strong Bibliography so I will be viewing more sources that cover this they fascinating theory which I will link directly to my own very naked culture.

Bib 6.

Sonja Andrews (2008) Textile Semantics: Considering a Communication- based Reading of Textiles, Textile, 6:1, 32-65

The author notes the importance of communication through textiles as a valid historical document of socio-economical landscape of the day. The author explores texts relating to commemorative and narrative textile traditions and symbolism within textile motifs. The source has helped me to understand the ways in which I will be able to critically design a textile with imagery that creates my visual narrative of identity and cultural development.This source is relevant to my study because me and the author share the same desire to document history on fabric. The source raises some interesting points of view such as the ways in which Toile de jouy’s narrative is laid out of the fabric, if the positioning was changed would the historical narrative read differently, it is these elements that I wish to keep in mind whilst at the development stage of my Identity narrative.

Bib 5.

Laurie A.Wilkie, (2002) Vol 34, No3. Culture Brought: Evidence of the Creolization in the Consumer Goods of an Enslaved Bahamian Family pp. 10-26

The Author notes in this article that there is historical marriage of ‘material culture’ in Jamaica and the west indie island. The author explores some of the traditions within the homes in Jamaica from the elite to the less well off. The Author explored the distinguished types of wealth on the island and how they marry together to create trends. The less well off that can not afford the Luxury would create there own home made various of the styles in stores which in turn created more popular trends. The shows this audience that the wearer of these trends both elite and poor both have a common similarity that is desire.

This source is particularly useful as it has allowed me to gather more knowledge of the desire of Luxury good and popular trends have evolved in Jamaica through contrasting group of people who commonly all the desire the same styles and looks.

Bib 4.

Anna. M. Galvin (2014) Sounds of the Citizens: Dancehall and the Community in Jamaica,pp 3-5

The Author notes how the, ‘rhythms of dancehall music reverberate in complicated way throughout the lives of countless Jamaicans’.It has become a mainstream and underground art form that has it’s traditions in bedded deep into slave roots and the need to feel free and be expressive, in doing so the author show a wide variety of dance and musical tradition in Jamaica as a way they escape there day to day lives a live out there night fantasy. The author notes that the by understand the link between fashion identity we can understand Jamaican music identity. This source has been useful as it show another view point of cultural development in the cities of Jamaica, It has made me question the role of Fashion as identity in the pop culture in the Cities and towns.

Bib 3.

Rex Nettleford (1971) Mirror, Mirror: Identity, Race and Protest in Jamaica, pp.101-104
The Author deals with the ‘Nitty Gitty’ of the Jamaica’s Socio-Economic conditions within the Island in the late 60’s early 70’s. The author makes a clear comparison to much of the Jamaican revolution; to what was happening in neighbouring counties. The pages selected calls attention to the lack and lose of cultural identity and not knowing how to take the cultural development forwards in a positive way. The author shows how the native Jamaican audience has engaged in the demise of it’s people and how they can now action themselves to re-define what it is to be a Jamaican. The source was particularly useful as it has made me question deeply the term ‘what it is to be Jamaican’, although the book is not current; many of the issues raised exist today also within the bibliography are sources that of scholars who are still curating multiculturalism in Jamacia today.

Bib 2.

Pauline Edwards, (2010) Trench Town Concrete Jungle; kill or be killed, Published by P.Edwards pp.22-25

The author notes that this book has been created to how the historical and social standing of Jamacia has a Island that has a complex attitude to colour and race. The author calls attention to where Jamacia is heading told from the view point of someone growing up in the Ghetto’s and where Jamacia has come from. The author makes clears suggestions that Jamacia will continue to struggle with life after colonialism. The Author goes on to make observations that, ‘Jamaicans have accepted that they are descendants of one or more race that were taken here during slavery, there are some who firmly believe that they are nothing but Jamaicans. I too share the view that many races have become one and we are Jamaicans’. Although heavily influenced by the Africans and the British we have still found ways to acquire unique characteristics that set us apart as a people. Jamaican creole and Reggae music are two examples of such characteristics that define us, our foods and the crops we cultivate are other factors that have helped to mold us into an independent people.

Reading this book has helped me to develop my own way of critical thinking when look at a large subject as race/identity and culture, this book has inspired a whole new way thinking to best discuss this subject in the context of textiles and fashion. I want people to view my textiles as fashioned garment to feel the same.