Caribbean Migration

Synopsis

Originally published in 1992, this classic considers out-migration from the Caribbean in a unique and sophisticated analytical manner. Its comparative approach, involving three islands (Jamaica, Barbados, and St. Vincent) and the range of micro-environments within those islands, is based on data from extensive surveys and in-depth interviews. For the first time, analysis of the migration process reflects the perspective of Caribbean potential migrants themselves.

The book contributes to international migration at a theoretical level, destroying the myth of migration being purely the result of poverty and overpopulation and rejecting explanations based on "push-pull" models and the unilateral flow inherent in such models. Instead it presents a conceptualization of Caribbean migration that is fundamentally circular and self-perpetuating, and which has become part of the institutional framework of Caribbean societies.

Migration behavior is a response to Caribbean circumstances and is an intrinsic part of the formation of the image of self and life chances of the individual. This image, conditioned by the particular location of the individual in relation to the national and international system, is the key element in explaining the complex interplay of global, societal, and personal factors resulting in the propensity to move and in the actual move itself.