The Politics of Social Outlawry in Urban Jamaica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The informal economy and patterns of state intervention involving patronage-clientelism and police repression contribute to a fragmented praxis of short-range strategies in Kingston, Jamaican slums. Containment, cooptation and repression, although widespread, are uneven processes often countered by such oblique forms of popular rebellion as social outlawry. An emergent political expression encompassing beliefs and practices which fall outside conventions, social outlawry represents an alternative outlet for many of those alienated from legitimate vehicles of empowerment. While rarely associated with a coherent, long-term political program, outlawry can be viewed as part of a broader political process shaped by the struggles of various segments of Jamaica's population. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • outlawry
  • political parties
  • political partisanship
  • gangs
  • street gangs
  • political violence
  • ghettos
  • peace movements
  • clientelism
  • political crimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Anthropology
  • Urban Studies


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