Doctoral Candidate James Braun on the construction of 'worthy' or 'unworthy' of Jamaican Nationals

November 6, 2019 by Julia Barone

PhD Candidate, James Braun, has published an article in Nations and Nationalism that examines how Afro-Creole nationalist ideology constructed the (un)worthiness of migrating Jamaicans' claims to diasporic membership. Reflecting the hegemonic social hierarchies in Jamaica, he argues that these constructions of the (un)worthy migrants are to the social benefit of creole middle-class men.

James Braun is an economic sociologist with particular interest in financialization, the sociology of markets, and diaspora-making.

The full article can be viewed on Wiley, for those with access. We have posted the citation and abstract below.

James, B. (2017). "The strange case of ‘John Black’ and ‘Mr Hyde’: constructing migrating Jamaicans as (un)worthy nationals". Nations and Nationalism, 23(2):394-415

This paper examines how migrating Jamaicans were constructed as ‘worthy’ or ‘unworthy’ of Jamaican diasporic membership in the early years of statehood, to demonstrate the role of nationalist cultural repertoires in constructing particular diasporic imaginaries. I conduct a discourse analysis of Jamaica's national newspaper, The Daily Gleaner, between 1962 and 1966, a period encompassing crucial transitions in Jamaican migration movements and from colony to statehood. I argue that tropes of respectability present in Afro‐creole nationalist ideology form the cultural repertoires used to distinguish migrants' actions as worthy or unworthy of national membership. These distinctions specify who ‘counts’ as part of the diaspora and how migrants of different social positions may claim and articulate their membership.