Caribbean cosmopolitanism: the view from ethnography

Huon Wardle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


For all the contemporary flurry of discussion 'cosmopolitanism' was almost entirely absent as an analytic term in academic debate on the Caribbean until the late 1990s. For individuals in the context of making cultural meaning meant creating workable 'intersystems' out of heterogeneous and conflicting cultural experiences, imageries and descriptors. L. Drummond never connected his theory of Guyanese culture with the facts of Guyanese migration or transnationalism, but his ideas were suggestive. Ethnographies of the Caribbean encounter both of these aspects–a heightened individualism which is simultaneously imaginatively 'fractal' and intentionally 'transcendental'. The traces of extreme unfreedom alongside the quest for cosmopolitan right continue to evidence themselves in Caribbean in more and less refractory cultural forms and in multiplex situations. One face of Caribbean 'cosmopolitanism' or 'outernationality' comes from awareness of the notable absence or non-occurrence of national self-governance; the other from creative syntheses of globality and locality in the lives of individuals and networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge international handbook of cosmopolitanism studies
EditorsGerard Delanty
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351028899
ISBN (Print)9781138493117, 9780367659851
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2018


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