Abstract

Collective subjectivity refers to the way that people define their group's essence and represent it to others. Marginality is the predicament of ambiguous belonging. For members of transnational diapsoras, subjectivity grows out of the experience of marginalization and unstable relations of difference in the dominant society where they currently, if temporarily, live. This article traces the marginalization of Haitians living in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, and the forms of subjectivity that they elaborate as a response. By contrasting the experience of Haitians living in Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, and the United States, it shows that diasporic subjectivity is locally produced. Guadeloupeans interpellate Haitians through a binary framework of citizen/non-citizen, which justifies legal harassment and violent extrusion. But they also regard Haitians as more authentic Caribbeans, in contrast to Guadeloupeans' rapid assimilation to French norms. Haitians respond to their marginality through discourses of group identity which comment upon, resist, but also accommodate the ways they are interpellated. Comparisons with other expatriate Haitians shows that the subjectivity of this enclave is calibrated more to Guadeloupean realities than to the dislocated signs and practices of the Haitian diaspora.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 383-410
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-08
Open Access
No
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