French and West Indian: Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana Today

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In 1946, after more than three hundred years as French colonies, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana were transformed into "overseas departments" of France, equal and identical in theory to any French department. This book assesses the effects of almost half a century of political assimilation into France and asks to what extent the high standard of living enjoyed by French West Indians today has been offset by losses on the political, cultural, and psychological levels.

The book, whose contributors come from the French West Indies themselves and from Britain and Jamaica, brings a variety of perspectives to bear on what to many observers will seem a paradox in the postcolonial age: three West Indian societies that are now part of Europe and whose desire to remain French far outweighs- or so it seems- their desire to be West Indian.

University of Virginia Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813915661
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: New World Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard D.E. Burton teaches French in the School of African and Asian Studies at Sussex University. He is the author of the forthcoming Famille, ideologie et pouvoir a la Martinique 1789-1992. He has also written extensively on nineteenth-century French literature and has published two books on Baudelaire. Fred Reno teaches political science at the Universite de Rennes II. Of Martinician origin, he is director of the research laboratory Territoires et Pouvoir Local. He has published widely on West Indian politics and institutions and has written a thesis comparing constitutional developments in Martinique and Barbados.

University of Virginia Press

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Table of Contents

The contributors
Introduction: The French West Indies a l'heure de l'Europe: an overview 1
Ch. 1 Constitutional and political change in the French Caribbean 20
Ch. 2 Politics and society in Martinique 34
Ch. 3 Guadeloupean consensus 48
Ch. 4 Society, culture and politics in French Guiana 56
Ch. 5 Dialectics of descent and phenotypes in racial classification in Martinique 75
Ch. 6 The Declaration of the Treaty of Maastricht on the ultra-peripheral regions of the Community: an assessment 86
Ch. 7 The French Antilles and the wider Caribbean 98
Ch. 8 West Indians in France 112
Ch. 9 Women from Guadeloupe and Martinique 119
Ch. 10 The idea of difference in contemporary French West Indian thought: Negritude, Antillanite, Creolite 137
Ch. 11 French West Indian writing since 1970 167
Select bibliography 188
Index 200
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Interviews & Essays

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