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Consensus in the family land controversy: rejoinder to Michaeline A. Crichlow

Author(s): Jean Besson

Journal: New West Indian Guide
ISSN 1382-2373

Volume: 69;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 299;
Date: 1995;
Original page

Keywords: British Caribbean | social history | land tenure | book review

[First paragraph] In her contribution to NWIG 68 (1994:77-99), "An Alternative Approach to Family Land Tenure in the Anglophone Caribbean," Michaeline Crichlow posits an "institutional-structural" school comprising Edith Clarke, M.G. Smith and myself, supported by Yvonne Acosta and Jean Casimir, to which she sees Charles V. Carnegie, Lesley McKay and herself as counterposed. M.G. Smith (1965:221), citing Clarke, identifies "two highly distinct systems of land tenure ... found side by side in many British Caribbean societies," and uses these "institutional distinctions" to support his plural society thesis; "similarly Besson (1979), who is primarily interested in the origins of family land tenure and sees it as emanating out of conflicts between planters and peasants, commits a similar error of treating family land as an institution" (p. 79).
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