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Colonization's effects on Jamaica's Cultural Identity

            Cultural identity is in itself a complex phenomenon, subject to the many changes, which take place in any particular society. Advances in technology, changes in politics and government, and economic fluctuations, to name only a few examples, all affect how members of a particular culture view themselves and their place in the world. In post-colonial societies, the issue of cultural identity becomes further complicated, especially for colonized cultures whose traditional values, beliefs and cultural practices are radically altered and sometimes lost altogether as a result of the colonization process. The colonized culture is forced to adapt to the ideologies and structures of the colonizing culture, which, as the controller of power, sets the parameters of acceptable cultural behavior, marginalizing the beliefs and needs of other minority groups. One of the main problems for members of minority cultures is maintaining a sense of cultural identity and autonomy in a society, which operates under a value system different from their own. .
             When discussing and analyzing contemporary Caribbean culture, particularly Jamaica, one must not fail to acknowledge the dreadful legacies of colonialism. Do to the remnants of colonial institutions such as slavery and the plantation system, Jamaica has experienced a range of negative societal effects, including developing a unifying cultural identity. The demise of colonialism in the Caribbean did not mark the end of social stratification based on racial and ethnic divisions. The prevailing racial distinctions and hierarchy that characterized colonialism via the institution of slavery have historically prevented any systematic attempt to create a distinct national cultural identity.
             This essay is going to examine in detail, how exactly the British Colonization of Jamaica prevented Jamaicans from developing a national cultural identity of their own. In addition to this I will describe the effects of slavery and the plantation systems on the Jamaican people.

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