Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 2, No 1 (2010)

A Culturometric Exploration of Intrusions of Globalization on Transnational Identities: The Jamaican Example

Beatrice Sylvie Boufoy-Bastick


Trans-national identity is a composite of individual and group identity development, construction and negotiation. It is of importance to the collective and to the individual. Its significance extends from collective national action through its influences on governmental policy to the individual who simply asks, "Who am I?" Globalization and modern labour movements between countries with diasporic populations complicate the already complex rapidly changing interdependencies of cultural-ethnic identities comprising individual and collective trans-national identity. This paper utilizes an instrument for assessing, comparing and tracking the changing composite cultural-ethnic identities of individuals and groups that comprise trans-national identity. The instrument is the Cultural Index; a two-item ipsative scale capable of being grounded in each group's definition of their own identity. Jamaican respondents (N=126) participated in a one-on-one Mall interrupt survey to assess the relative contributions of Jamaican, African and Anglo-American cultures to their trans-national identity. Gender and age comparisons, tested for both construct and concurrent validity, showed that Anglo-American culture currently has a significantly smaller impact on Jamaican's collective trans-national identity than do both African and Jamaican cultures. The research is important for monitoring the intrusions of Globalization on the trans-national identities of diasporic communities.

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