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Caribbean: culture and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Roshini Kempadoo

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm097

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Kempadoo, R. 2013. Caribbean: culture and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


According to the eminent cultural theorist Stuart Hall “Migration has been a constant motif of the Caribbean story” (1999: 1). Migration is the single most common trope that can be associated with the Caribbean. The Caribbean colonial plantation economies were mostly constituted as one of the earliest “planetary empires” producing what Mintz describes as “fare” and produce for its factory workers in Britain and France to stem their hunger and dissuade political unrest. Mintz uses Konetzke's term in order to refer to the way in which the European empires were reconceived as spanning whole oceans and continents since the 16th century (Mintz & Price 1985). With the decimation of the island's indigenous peoples, the Caribbean's current population mainly originates from European economic migrants as plantation owners, government officials, military personnel, and tradesmen; African slaves transported in their millions to the plantations; and hundreds of thousands of indentured laborers recruited for the post-slavery plantations, mostly originating from India, China, and Portugal, under a semi-negotiated economic arrangement with some promise of return.


  • Atlantic world;
  • diaspora;
  • community;
  • imperialism;
  • poverty;
  • women;
  • cultural diversity