Caribbean studies

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Lesson #:



Aim: The teacher aims to enlighten students regarding the skills required for success in the completion of this course.


  1. Think pair share

  2. Reading

See activity below.

Topic: Skills required for

Caribbean studies

Subtopic: Bloom’s Taxonomy

Specific Objectives: At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

  1. After examining the different levels of the taxonomy;

    1. categorize commands which frequently appear in essays according to their levels on the scale;

    2. List appropriate activities for different commands/terms used at each level;

  2. Through pair/share, differentiate between the levels of the taxonomy by applying commands to given statements.

Resource Materials:

  1. Handout – Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and related activities

Introductory activity – Bloom’s taxonomy

Apply related commands at each level of Bloom’s taxonomy to the following statements.


  1. According to George Beckford ( ), the contemporary Caribbean has been shaped by the “plantation system” and can thus be considered “plantation society”.

  2. Education is the route to upward social mobility in the contemporary Caribbean.”

Levels on Bloom’s taxonomy and related activities





To find or remember information

Tell, uncover, show, list, locate, repeat, define, explain, investigate, recall, name, point to


To understand information

Summarize, relate, explain, reword, discuss,


To use information

Try, diagram, perform, report, employ, adapt, draw, construct


To take information apart

Study, combine, separate, categorize, detect, examine, inspect, discriminate, take apart, generalize, compare, analyze, scrutinize


To make judgements about knowledge

Justify, decide, criticize, judge, solve, rate, assess, appraise


To create new ideas or things

Hypothesize, predict, create, invent, produce, modify, extend, design, formulate, develop, build, compile

Interpreting questions

Discuss: present a thorough analysis of the issue in question by examining all sides or facets of the related arguments.

Compare: present similarities (and differences) of the features mentioned. Ensure that the main features of the elements being compared are identified and used to properly structure the essay.

Evaluate: present judgements as the relative value of the features mentioned.

Determine extent: weigh arguments and state the relative importance/validity/applicability/usefulness of the feature mentioned.

Interpret: present explanation of facts.

Assess: establish the strengths and weaknesses of the features mentioned.

Lesson #:



Aim: The teacher aims to help the students to understand the society as a construct as well as their own relationship to Caribbean society.


  1. Lecture

  2. Role play

  3. Diagrams

  4. Discussion

Topic: Society

Subtopic: Characteristics and Perspectives

Specific Objectives: At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate and correctly use at least three definitions of the concept ‘society’;

  2. Demonstrate understanding of the defining characteristics of society (explain and give illustrations);

  3. Appreciate the concept as a construct to which multiple perspectives can be applied;

  4. Apply the Marxist and structural functionalist perspectives to an understanding of their own society;

  5. Use diagram (or other media) to demonstrate understanding of the perspectives;

  6. Appreciate how their society helps to define their personalities and identities;

  7. Appreciate their potential to influence society in their various statuses within social organizations

Resource Materials:

  1. Handouts

  2. Main Text – CAPE Caribbean Studies: An interdisciplinary approach

Social Constructs

Social constructs are variable, uncertain and complex. They are erroneously thought to be very different from scientific concepts. It is a label given to an idea, explanation or way of thinking which is used to simplify how we deal with social life.

No construct sums up the entirety of any phenomenon in question.

Social - The totality of explanations describing how people interact and make sense of their experiences.

What is a society?

  • An arrangement of interaction and patterns of behaviour that occurs between members of social groups whether large or small.

  • A set of people occupying a geographical area for a period of time.

  • A social class that comprises wealthy prominent or fashionable persons.

  • A formal association of people with similar interests.

  • A division of human kind with common characteristics such as race and nationality.

  • Original Latin word meant follower.

  • Group of people who form a semi-closed system in which most interactions are with individuals belonging to that group.


Examine the meanings and uses of the term society to determine how the context determines the meaning of the term.


Assess the appropriateness of each use of the term and derive the key characteristics of society.

Activity – question and answer

  1. Select students will read one of the definitions each after which the teacher will record it on the board.

  2. The same will be examined to determine how the term society is being used and its consequent connotations.

  3. The definitions will then be collectively examined for common features in order to determine the characteristics of culture.

Guiding task - Assess the nature each use of the term and derive the key characteristics of society.

Note disciplinary differences in the use of the term.

What are the characteristics of society?

  • Common purpose or interest

  • Common identity

  • Citizenship within a space

  • Continuity over time and space

  • Pattern of relationships

Uses of the term society

  • To denote geographical divisions

  • To denote social class differences

  • To identify collective groups

  • As a guide to behaviour

  • Any group of people living in a country makes up its society.

  • ‘High’ society describes the lives of the rich and famous

  • The society in which we live tolerates the drinking of alcohol but not the smoking of marijuana.


Use role play to demonstrate your understanding of the given use/meaning of the term society.

How does society work?

Society can be viewed as a social structure; a set of organized patterns or arrangements and interactions.

These interactions occur within larger arrangements, namely social institutions and social organizations.

Social institutions are manifested via social organizations. The institutions are our established ideas and beliefs about how we want aspects of society to be organized. Social intuitions are the tangible manifestations of these beliefs and ideas.

Individuals function and interact within social organizations. In these they have defined statuses (ascribed or achieved) and the concomitant roles.

In this light, society meets and shapes the individual and the individual participates in society.

Marxist explanation

  • Founder Karl Marx believes that society consists of two classes; ones position in either class depends on the ownership of wealth.

  • The bourgeoisie manipulate the various structures in society in order to maintain the status quo.

  • Society is consequently always characterised by tension, competition and conflict for scarce resources.

  • Institutions operate in ways that benefit the ruling class. The most critical institution is the economy or the infrastructure which shapes all other institutions. The latter constitutes the superstructure.

Structural Functionalist Explanations

  • Society is a system; it comprises interdependent structures (institutions) which all work together for society’s survival and functioning.

  • Individuals therein are governed by its norms and values along with the use of sanctions; a process made possible through socialization.

  • Value consensus is essential to social order (considered one of the basic needs of society). It is accomplished when there is agreement about society’s values and consequent goals and results in cooperation in society.

Major Question in Sociology

Structural Functionalist




View of society

Society is a harmonious system

An arena of conflict

Society is made up of different structures all of which have specific functions.

Functionalist – all are equal in functioning and all are positive.

Marxist – the economy is more important and not all structures are beneficial to society

Main concern of perspective

Understanding how structures are interrelated and how their functions in the society.

Understand how inequality and exploitation continues and how to improve society.

Concerned with how society works

Marxist focus on who society works for (upper class),

Functionalist assume benefits for all in society

Social Order

Interdependence of structures, value consensus/collective conscience

Ideological conditioning

False consciousness

Ruling class ideology

Ideas and socialization are important in maintaining control.

Marxist – deceit is involved and order is suppressive

Order is based on agreement rather than force or deceit

Individual and the Society –Socialization

Society shapes the individual and dictates his behaviour through the socialization process

Homo duplex

Society shapes the individual and dictates his behaviour through the socialization process

Individual is transformed into ways that benefit himself and the entire society

Do not give allow for agency on the part of the individual

Transformation into a social being benefits only the ruling class.

Social Change

Moving equilibrium

Adaptation to the environment

Usually smooth


Material dialectic

Based on the inevitable conflict in society

Revolutionary and disruptive

Both see society as constantly changing

Functionalist see change as positive – increased adaptive capacity, but also peaceful

Marxist – change is only positive when it results in communism

Is disruptive

Usually results in the replacement of one elite with another

Lesson #:



Aim: The teacher aims to help the students to understand the culture concept and its relationship with society as well as the individual.


  • Lecture

  • Poem/stories using key words/terms

  • Role play

  • Diagrams

  • Discussion

  • Debates

Topic: Culture


  • Defining culture

  • Characteristics of culture

  • Functions of culture

Specific Objectives: At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics of culture;

  • Appropriately use the concept in a variety of contexts;

  • Use illustrations to demonstrate a correct knowledge of the elements of culture;

  • Explain/outline how the various elements of culture are related;

  • Given the characteristics; identify different types of cultures and cultural groups;

  • Describe the various ways in which individuals learn the culture of their societies;

  • Assess through discussion and writing the importance of culture to the survival of a society;

  • Explain how the individual, the society and the culture are related

  • Define key terms related to culture and cultural process;

Resource Materials:

  • Main Text – CAPE Caribbean Studies: An interdisciplinary approach

  • Handouts

  • Sociology for Caribbean Students.
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