Ad/ministering Education: Gender, Colonialism, and Christianity in Belize and the Anglophone Caribbean

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2008-01-28

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This dissertation looks at the relationship between educational achievement and power in the Anglophone Caribbean, with particular emphasis on Belize. Girls are outperforming boys at every level of education, but women still have higher unemployment rates and hold the lowest paying jobs, while men are in more decision-making positions in every sector of the economy. This project considers one major question: Why do women remain in less powerful positions even when they are better educated? To explore this question I look at the role that missionary groups played in administering education under British colonialism. I focus on Belize where religious groups maintain a high level of control over education in the postcolonial era. I use twentieth-century Caribbean literature to suggest the effects of Christian ideology on the hidden curriculum and on women's social, economic, and political power. The literature I discuss includes George Lamming's In the Castle of my Skin (Barbados), Austin Clarke's Growing Up Stupid under the Union Jack (Barbados), Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey (Trinidad), Merle Collins's Angel (Grenada), Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Lucy (Antigua), and Zee Edgell's Beka Lamb (Belize).

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