Body image, physical beauty and colour among Jamaican adolescents

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Social and Economic Studies: Vol 18 No. 1 1969: Pp 72-89

Body Image, Physical Beauty and Colour among Jamaican Adolescents involved a sample of Jamaican adolescents all of whom had been previously classified by race or shade of skin colour. The racial and colour categories in which adolescents had been classified were Black, Dark, Clear, Fair, White, Indian and Chinese. This mixed sample of adolescents, males and females, were asked to respond to six items on an open-ended Questionnaire. The six items were: Describe your idea of a handsome boy; Describe your idea of the Beautiful Girl.; Are you handsome or beautiful? What do you like about your Body; (Body includes everything – face, hands, feet); What do you dislike about your body? What would you change if it were possible? Miller administered the questionnaire to all adolescents in the sample, who attended different schools.

The responses of students on each Item of the Questionnaire were analyzed in relation to the racial or colour category in which they had been previously placed. The analysis was to determine the following: Did students describe different concepts of physical beauty accordingly to racial or colour category or shared a common concept of beauty irrespective of racial or colour category? What were the physical features that comprised their concepts of beauty, specific or shared? How did these adolescents assess their personal physical features within their conception of physical beauty?

The major findings of this study were that these Jamaican adolescents shared one common conception of beauty that was composite, that is, combined features from different racial groups and colour categories. Further, their common composite concept of beauty served as the benchmark against which they assessed their personal physical features with respect to what they liked, disliked or would change if it were possible.

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Self-Evaluation among Jamaican High School Girls

Self-Evaluation among Jamaican High School Girls

was first published in Social and Economic Studies Volume 23 Number 4 December 1973 Pg407-426 and reprinted in Caribbean Journal of Education Volume 26 Numbers 1 and 2 April/September 2006 Pp 47-75

The article is an empirical study of self-evaluation as measured by self-esteem, self-disparity and manifest anxiety among a random stratified sample of girls in Jamaican high schools in the city of Kingston in relation to their race/colour, socioeconomic background and the perception of their teachers. The study employs a cross-sequential design and includes 721 girls. The data obtained are used to test eight hypotheses six of which are confirmed and two rejected.

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IMF Related Devastation of Teacher Education in Jamaica.

Found in Social and Economic Studies Vol 41 No 2 June 1992 Pp 153-181.

IMF related devastation of Teacher Education in Jamaica is one of the few studies that has documented the impact of IMF programmes seeking to bring about macroeconomic reforms in a small developing country and their impact of the teacher education sector, or any particular level of education. This paper describes the IMF Programmes in Jamaica in the decade 1977 to 1987. It also documents the objectives and target of teacher education plans and policies of the Ministry of Education between 1957 and 1980 and the agencies that supported these plans. Contrary to the general stereotype of non-performance by governments, practically all of the teacher education objectives and targets were achieved, even if not with original time-frame. The underlying premise was that qualified teachers in sufficient quantity were vital to student performance and the improvement of the education system.

The paper documents the retrenchment measures implemented by the Ministry of Education between 1979 and 1987 in order to operate within reduced subventions allocated by the Ministry of Finance. The effects were pervasive on all areas of operation of the Ministry of Education but the effects on teacher education sector was worse by far. Enrolment, capacity, output, expenditure in constant dollars were all reduced substantially.

The IMF could claim that its programmes did not target education specifically. The Ministry of Finance could claim that it reduced subventions to the Ministry of Education but did not specify the areas to be cut. The Ministry of Education could defend the cuts made on a case by case basis and deny that it deliberately targeted teacher education. While there is circular deniability disclaiming any conspiracy the fact prior to the IMF programmes teacher education was in progressive developmental mode that was changed to a retrenchment and regressive mode. The results included false economies, great acrimony between the teachers association and Ministry and the mark reduction in access to upward mobility to margin groups that gain such opportunities through teacher education. While there may have been no conspiracy the IMF, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry were complicit in the devastation of teacher education Jamaica by the end of the 1980s.

The outcomes of the IMF Program of the 1980s on Teacher Education and the non-conspiratorial complicity of the IMF, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education are explained by employing the Theory of Place.

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