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America the Beautiful or Belly of the Beast?

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Julie Jenkins

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of America the Beautiful or Belly of the Beast?

America the Beautiful or Belly of the Beast?
Why do the youth in Mango Mount see migration to the US as a route to economic and social mobility?
--why not farming?
--why not educaiton?
--How is this gendered?
Anxieties over Americanization, political, economic and cultural integration
--Are we all becoming the same??
GDP per capita Purchasing Power Parity

--US: $51,704
--UK: $36,569
--Mexico: $15,363
--Jamaica: $8,916
--Haiti: $1,229
--Congo: $365
--but also uneven domestic distribution of income
--feeling that class/race hierarchies haven't radically shifted since Independence.
Jamaica: GDP/Cap PPP: $8,916
--richest 20% own 47% of wealth
--1.1million live under poverty line ($2.50/day)
see Americanization as negative:
-loss of community, consumerism, individualism,
-influence of US and global political/economic system as having corrupted Jamaican politicians
vs. America symbolic of:
--Land of opportunity
--greater potential for economic mobility
Ambiguous & contradictory responses
--understood in relationship to hierarchical relationship that Jamaica has in global economy

uneven global income distribution
--power relations haven't fundamentally shifted since colonialism
--IMF/ WB- "free trade", "foreign investment"
What is "Modern Blackness"
--urban, migratory, based in popular culture, individualistic, radically consumerist
--vs ideals & visions of Rastafarians
--but see disjuncture in life experiences and ideologies of creole nationalism, education, & "respectability"
--Note that Jamaica has influenced the US and other parts of the world, just as much as the other way around
--although in a different power positionality
--cultural appropriation
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