THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY
It is not possible to make a close comparison between the social structure of the British and the American Caribbean dependencies because the basic research which would make such a study possible has still to be undertaken. None the less some knowledge of the character of West Indian society, whether in the predominantly white island of Puerto Rico, or in the predominantly Negro islands of the British Caribbean, is an essential background for any serious student of West Indian affairs. Such resources as are available on this subject have as far as possible been consulted,1 but these are few and far between, and are of very uneven value. Much of this chapter is thus, of necessity, based on the author's personal observation, and on conversation with West Indians in different walks of life and levels of society.
The racial composition of the British and United States Caribbean dependencies is relatively uniform. In almost all the islands there is a large Negro majority, a fair-sized coloured group,2 a handful of Asiatics, and an even smaller sprinkling of white people. Puerto Rico and Trinidad are, however, exceptions to the usual pattern. In Puerto Rico the vast majority of the population is of white Spanish stock; no coloured group is recognized, and there are no Asiatics. Puerto Rico is thus in a class by itself. In Trinidad, although the Negroes constitute the largest single group,____________________