This paper explores the existence of `ital chic' in Jamaica. A cross between ethical consumerism and the marketing of cool, ital chic represents an aesthetic repertoire and a commercial strategy based on Rastafari. The symbols and aesthetics of a Rastafari lifestyle, or `ital livity', are mobilized to market a variety of products and services, ranging from restaurants and hairstyles to candles, clothing and cosmetics. This reflects a move towards localism, environmentalism and ethics that is tied, somewhat paradoxically, to globalized identities, consumption and elite lifestyles. An initial exploration is made of the implications of the ital chic phenomenon for Jamaica in terms of class and cultural politics, as well as its relation to the politics of sustainable development.
Rivke Jaffe; Ital Chic: Rastafari, Resistance, and the Politics of Consumption in Jamaica. Small Axe 1 March 2010; 14 (1 (31)): 30–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-2009-042
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