Hooligan culture and progress

Letters to the Editor

Hooligan culture and progress

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

Analysts fail to understand that culture is correlated with economic growth. At present much of what Jamaicans call culture is simply hooliganism. In modern Jamaica, classifying oneself as rough is a term to evoke respect. But I continue to wonder what is really so special about being a barbarian?

Anthropologists tell us that in some former societies status was linked to physical aggression. But this was usually in violent and underdeveloped groupings. Civilised people in the modern world are secure in their abilities, and therefore less inclined to respond with sheer brawn.

Then there is the evidence of the victim complex, which manifests in some individuals assuming that their counterparts are oppressing them or think that they are inferior. This is problematic because people with an inferiority complex do not usually believe that they have autonomy over their affairs. The result of this is that they outsource the management of their lives to other people and blame them for their lack of success. These individuals rarely produce the innovations and ideas required for human flourishing.

A crisis is created when scholars in Jamaica begin to venerate hooliganism as resistance. According to this view, the vulgar culture of the masses is actually an expression of resistance to elite oppression. The result is that ordinary Jamaicans have resorted to accepting crass behaviour as the culture.

Therefore, it surprises no one that dancehall emerged to become the vanguard of Jamaican culture. Dancehall, with its barbarisn, is the music of the masses, but unfortunately its destabilising nature has infiltrated society, thus making hooliganism fashionable. Slack dancehall artistes are now so revered that scholars at The University of the West Indies think that incarcerated entertainers ought to be allowed to record in prison. People go to prison to have their privileges suspended, should not this rule apply to dancehall artistes?

So many people are afraid of being called elitist they refrain from denouncing crassness. The effect of such cowardice is that Jamaica will continue to regress, due to having a third-rate culture. No amount of economic growth will institute progress unless Jamaican culture becomes conducive to progress.

Lipton Matthews


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon