This volume is closely related to Professor Smith’s other recent work on the Caribbean. In contrast to the personal account in Dark Puritan and the broader range over time and space in The Plural Society in the British West Indies, it represents the most rigorous kind of sociometric analysis of a narrow topic. The subject is stratification within the small Grenadan “planter class”—the elite group of the island. The field work was done in 1952-53, following the serious disturbances which began in 1951 and were still in progress at the time. It is, therefore, set at a crucial period of transition between two forms of political life. Nevertheless, the movement of society and politics at the time is subordinated to static mathematical analysis. It might seem to hold little interest for historians, but this is not the case, for Professor Smith’s theoretical concern is much broader than his narrow subject. He takes his point of departure from the implicit conflict between the concept of “plural society,” as originated by J. S. Furnivall, and the general theory of social action. His conclusion that Grenada constitutes a decided exception to the general theory is supported here by hard evidence and suggests that the same may well be true for the whole range of plural societies in tropical America. The book, therefore, is of some importance to historians who wish to understand the place of tropical America in the broader sweep of human experience.
Book Review| August 01 1966
Stratification in Grenada
Stratification in Grenada. By Smith, M. G..
University of California Press. . Pp.
Hispanic American Historical Review (1966) 46 (3): 333.
Philip D. Curtin; Stratification in Grenada. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 August 1966; 46 (3): 333. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-46.3.333
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