'Rock ova and lap up': A critique of Caribbean theories of national identity through the Jamaican public transport system
Bennett, S. (2016). ‘Rock ova and lap up’: A critique of Caribbean theories of national identity through the Jamaican public transport system (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10799
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10799
Public transport is a major aspect of the social and economic life of Jamaican people. With a population of 2.7 million and only 188 per thousand vehicles, many people have come to rely on public transport. Public travel within the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR) in Jamaica is possible via six modes which range from very informal to rigidly regulated. There is the Government owned and operated bus system (JUTC), then four modes (coasters, hackneys, minibuses, and route taxis) which are regulated by the government but operate across formal and informal lines and also the infamous Jamaican “robot” which exists outside of the regulatory framework and protection of the government. One journey may involve use of a single or multiple modes depending on various factors. This thesis an auto-ethnography of the Jamaican public transport system in the KMR as a landscape in which to critique the major theories of Jamaican/ Caribbean identity and determine whether or not they individually or collectively supply a true picture of our identity. By exploring issues of formality and informality, and morality in mobility this work resonates with traditional anthropology by integrating specific group experiences with larger political, historical and economic structures.
University of Waikato
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