The shifts I have noted throughout this book are by no means unique to
Jamaica, though the specific forms some of these generational transfor-
mations have taken require contextually based readings of the relation-
ships between local political economies and social and cultural ideologies.
They should also be regarded as shifts that are still shifting, transforma-
tions still in motion, for the endpoint of the research for this book does
not mark the end of these discussions. Many changes have already oc-
curred since the end of 1997, both locally and nationally.
For example, by the summer of 2003, there had been two significant
leadership transitions within the Community Council in Mango Mount.
The first occurred in 2001 with the election of a new Executive Council.
The new president was a forty-year-old middle-class community member
who grew up in the village. He was neither a civil servant, nor a profes-
sional, but rather owned his own security company. At times, his business
responsibilities prevented him from being able to attend all Council meet-
ings, and when he was not present, the new senior vice president, a
woman from one of Mango Mount’s established poorer families who had
been active in the Council for years, presided. She was also the Council’s
Community Development O≈cer—a newly created, salaried half-time
position—responsible for developing and implementing programming
for all age groups at the center. It was perhaps due to her more institu-
tionalized involvement, and to the e√orts of a remarkably energetic and
thoughtful u.s. Peace Corps volunteer to organize by subcommunity, that
there had been a slight increase in participation in Council meetings and a
more significant increase in community residents’ use of the center facili-
ties. More of the district’s young children seemed to spend afternoons at
the center, and a few of the male youth in the community had become
more active. Overall, however, there still seemed to be a relatively low level
of participation in Council programs, and the same generational conflicts
tended to arise regarding the kinds of programming that were suggested
and the ways these programs were implemented.
Though the center itself was refurbished in 1999 to serve as a location for
computer literacy and income-generating projects, these projects had not
Previous Page Next Page