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Becoming RastaOrigins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica$
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Charles Price

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767467

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767467.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Becoming Rasta

Charles Price

NYU Press

This introductory chapter ponders on Rastafari identity formation, citing both race and religion as central in becoming Rastafari. It briefly traces the origins of this identity in a morally configured orientation of Blackness in Jamaica, then explores how this identity eventually spread into a social movement, if not a collective identity. Furthermore, this chapter details some of the interviews and anecdotes, as well as the analytical frameworks used, to make sense of the voices and experiences of the Rastafari, stressing that both dimensions are equally important to an understanding of racial formation, ethnogenesis, and how individuals position themselves in relation to both.

Keywords:   Rastafari identity, Blackness, Jamaica, morality, racial formation, ethnogenesis

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