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Centring the Periphery: Chaos, Order, and the Ethnohistory of Dominica
by:Patrick L. Baker
Patrick Baker's post modern approach uses ideas from chaos theory and world systems theory to interpret the prehistory and history of Dominica. During its prehistory, Dominica served as an occasional stepping-stone for small-scale, independent foraging and horticultural peoples migrating up the Antillean arc to the larger islands in the north. Dominica's...
Patrick Baker's post modern approach uses ideas from chaos theory and world systems theory to interpret the prehistory and history of Dominica. During its prehistory, Dominica served as an occasional stepping-stone for small-scale, independent foraging and horticultural peoples migrating up the Antillean arc to the larger islands in the north. Dominica's discovery by Europeans brought it into a social and economic constellation that was constructed and orchestrated largely from the metropolitan centre. "Centring the Periphery" is the story of the struggle of the Dominican people to create and order a world that is controlled from outside. The concept of "centring" is used to mean "ordering the world", and Baker links this to ideas in chaos theory, which views order and disorder as mutually generative phenomena rather than static antinomies. Thus strategies to control disorder and create and maintain order may suddenly precipitate change. Baker's application of these theories to an island nation that has received little detailed attention in the past makes this an original work, as does his holistic, post modern perspective. In addition to presenting a sensitive historical analysis, he confronts the dilemma of meaning in peripheral situations and the experience of dependency in the world system. "Centring the Periphery" is germane to understanding the majority of the world's people and makes a significant contribution to the study of society in developing nations. This book is intended for students and researchers in Caribbean studies.
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