Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: 'Behind God's back' : a study of religion in the Bathsheba area of Barbados
Author: Harding, P. L.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1981
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
An ethnographic account of religious behaviour and domestic organisation in a lower-class, Barbadian village has been undertaken to contribute to the solution of the perrenial problem of stratification in the Caribbean. In keeping with other Caribbean community studies, household and familial groups are the focus of initial attention. The village is similar to others studied in that household structure varies both within the village and compared to other classes. Concensus and conflict models of society have been utilized to explain this phenomenon in previous studies. However the concepts used therein are found wanting in this case and an alternative framework is introduced which involves locating stratification by sex and are at village level within the context of island-wide stratification in the conventional sense. Domestic organisation is related to religious behaviour through a consideration of social stratification. Social anthropological contributions to stratification are reviewed, synthesised yet found inadequate. For heuristic purposes, a Marxian type approach is adopted in which the household is viewed as the unit of reproduction of labour power. Together with the primary process of production, this secondary process is seen as a means of conceptualising aspects of Barbadian social life. Each process is said to yield a system of stratification, positions in which are determined by the relations of production and reproduction of labour power respectively. The characteristics of local religious institutions are then described both synchronically and diachronically. The distinctive feature is found to be the predominance of females over males and of young and old over mature adult at all religious gatherings. Finally an attempt is made to explain the function of religious involvement for villagers, alternatively, as signifying the occupancy of a prestigious social position or as a means of adjusting to the occupancy of a marginal, liminal or inferior social position within one or other system of stratification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available