The CLR James Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1/2, Fall 2023

Paget Henry
Pages 137-163

The Crisis of Caribbean Sociology and a Sociology of Crisis

In this paper, I argue that macro-theorizing in the field of Caribbean sociology is going through a crisis of transition from the third to the fourth major period in its 100-year-old process of historical development. It is a transition from a period in which the houses of earlier Caribbean macro-theorizing in the social sciences, such as creole theory, cultural pluralism and dependency theory, were blown from the center and displaced by the simultaneous arrival of two re-colonizing intellectual hurricanes from the temperate north: American neoliberalism and French poststructuralism. Battered by these two imperial storms, macro-theorizing in Caribbean sociology was caught in what the paper calls a neocolonial squeeze. After unleashing their destructive and seductive winds, Neo and Post, these two intellectual hurricanes, have been receding for some time. Their departing has been creating what the paper calls a post-neoliberal/post-poststructuralist opening. It then takes up the issue of what we should be doing in this opening to repair fallen intellectual houses and revive our tradition of macro-theorizing in Caribbean sociology.