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The Sociology of Slavery

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Black Society in Jamaica, 1655-1838

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ISBN: 9781509550975 Category:

<p>Orlando Patterson&rsquo;s classic study of slavery in Jamaica reveals slavery for what it was: a highly repressive and destructive system of human exploitation which disregarded and distorted almost all of the basic prerequisites of normal social life. What distinguishes Patterson’s account is his detailed description of the lives and culture of slaves under this repressive regime. He analyses the conditions of slave life and work on the plantations, the African origins and social institutions of the slaves, the psychological life of slaves &ndash; what it was like to be a slave and how they survived the system mentally, socially and culturally &ndash; and the patterns and meanings of slave resistance. He shows that the real life situation of slaves involved a complete breakdown of all major social institutions, including the family, marriage, religion and morality. And yet despite the repressiveness of the regime, slaves maintained some space of their own, and their adjustment to white norms did not mean that they accepted them. Slave culture was characterized by a persistent sense of resentment and injustice which underpinned the revolts and rebellions that were a constant feature of slave society.</p> <p>This new paperback edition includes a new introduction by Orlando Patterson which explains the origins of the book and reflects on its enduring relevance. Widely recognized as a foundational work on the social institution of slavery, this book will be an indispensable text for students and scholars in sociology, history and the social sciences and humanities generally, and a valuable resource for anyone interested in the role that slavery has played in the shaping of the modern world.</p>

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