Home Institution

Pitzer College

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Jamaica: Gender and Development


Jamaica is a country with a unique historical legacy of slavery and resistance. Once Britain most prosperous colony, Jamaica was also home to the majority of slave uprisings in the New World . This legacy of resistance has created a contemporary climate rife with cultural contradictions; the country’s motto, “Out of many one people” belies the many racial, class and gender hierarchies that are omnipresent forces in Jamaican daily life.

Despite the image heralded around the world of Jamaica as a tropical paradise, the country also has the reputation for being fiercely homophobic. How is homosexuality perceived in Jamaican society? Do most Jamaicans perceive homosexuality to be another form of western domination, and are thus resisting against it? My study will analyze how Jamaicans perceive homosexuality in order to provide a more accurate understanding of a potential link between western domination. Through interviews that stretch across the socioeconomic scale, I hope to obtain representative data that offers insight into homophobia in Jamaican society. Ultimately, this study aims to offer a more culturally relevant base from which homophobia can be addressed.


Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Sociology


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