Through a close look at events observed in three Guadeloupean voluntary associations—a retirees' club, a youth group, and a dance club—this essay examines the politics of leisure activities, helping to illuminate the ways that social capital operates in associations and how politics permeates everyday life on the French island of Guadeloupe. I consider the ways that Putnam's view of social capital differs from Bourdieu's. I argue associations are an important source of social capital for some marginalized members of Guadeloupean society who convert this social capital into economic, political, or social advancement. At the same time, social capital is unevenly accessible within associations and it operates in a context of political patronage. My data suggests that we need to rethink the concept of social capital to account for the complexity of the ways it works in society.
Social Capital and the Politics of Leisure in Guadeloupean Associations
A Caribbean Genealogy
In the Département d’Outre-Mer of Guadeloupe, a schoolteacher named Hugues Delannay presents me with a conundrum that has preoccupied him for a long time. He has been teaching in a lycée for over twenty years in Basse-Terre, the island’s capital, and has had many brilliant students who, when they take their baccalaureat examinations, get mixed results. Normally, they excel on the written portions of the examination. Consistently, however, they do worse on their oral examinations, which drags down their grades. Why? It is not that their speaking skills are not up to par—far from it, he tells me, these students are articulate and speak impeccable French. There is, according to Delannay, a simpler, and ultimately more disturbing explanation. The examiners who give these students low grades in their oral examinations almost always come from metropolitan France.
Martinique and the French Presidential Election of 2007
In May 2007, Martinique did not follow the rest of France in endorsing Nicolas Sarkozy in his bid to become president. Along with the other overseas French states Guadeloupe and Réunion (but not Guyane), Martinique supported rather the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal. Martinique thereby distanced itself from the rest of the République—as it had done in 1995—by backing a left-wing presidential candidate rather than the ultimately victorious right-wing one. 2007 represents the converse of 1981, when Martinique voted for the rightist candidate but France as a whole elected a leftist (François Mitterrand). Over time, being at electoral odds with the nation as a whole has become less troubling for Martinicans: independence, which most islanders oppose, is no longer seen at stake in presidential outcomes. On the other hand, Martinicans have become progressively resigned to their peripheral status within French presidential politics.
David A. Bell Qu’est-ce qu’un Français? Histoire de la nationalité française depuis la Révolution by Patrick Weil
Judith Stone To Be a Citizen: The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic by James R. Lehning
K.H. Adler Vichy in the Tropics: Pétain’s National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-44 by Eric T. Jennings
Tyler Stovall Childhood in the Promised Land: Working-Class Movements and the Colonies de Vacances in France, 1880-1960 by Laura Lee Downs
Donald Reid Workers’ Participation in Post-Liberation France by Adam Steinhouse
Mark Kesselman Pour une critique du jugement politique: Comment repolitiser le jeu démocratique by Dick Howard
Michael S. Lewis-Beck Ces Français qui votent Le Pen by Nonna Mayer
Owen White and Elizabeth Heath
-à-vis those of Arabs in Algeria and the superiority of Indian indentured laborers relative to freed slaves in post-emancipation Guadeloupe and Martinique. 41 Although a major figure in the labor market, the colonial state nevertheless was only one factor
Familialism and the National Revolution in 1940s Morocco
Margaret Cook Andersen
); Pollard, Reign of Virtue ; Stromberg Childers, Fathers, Families, and the State in France . 4 There are a number of good studies exploring the impact of the National Revolution on individual colonies. For Indochina, Guadeloupe, and Madagascar see Eric
Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France
, Guadeloupe, Reunion Island, and French Guyana. From the era of plantation slavery to abolition and the post-abolitionist transition into other forms of colonial domination, the attachment of the Antillean dependencies to France continued in the shadow of
addition of flames and rubble. When L’Illustration published a front-page article on the Guadeloupe earthquake ( Figure 4 ), five weeks after the event, the illustration’s legend read: “Destruction of Pointe-à-Pitre by an Earthquake, 8 February 1843, at
history of the French Caribbean, reflected the support that Afro-French Caribbean people expressed for republican ideals after the abolition of slavery in 1848. D’Anglemont, also from Guadeloupe, supposedly embodied the flâneur. His lifestyle and his work
Nafissa Sid Cara and the Politics of Emancipation during the Algerian War
especially Alice Conklin, A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997) and Eric Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics: Pétain’s National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and