Imagining the Nation in the Classroom: Belonging and Nationness in the Dutch Caribbean

Yvon van der Pijl, Francio Guadeloupe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This Exploration focuses on ideologies of belonging and feelings of nationness on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Sint Maarten and Sint Eustatius. The new constitutional framework that came into effect within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 10 October 2010 conferred a new political status to these islands, thereby affecting the complexity of political subjectivi-ty, nationness and belonging within the context of Caribbean nonsovereignty. The article presents primary schools as important ethnographic sites to study the (re)construction of ideologies of belonging and senses of nationness. Here susceptible minds can be moulded into internalizing ideologies, through which children might be socialized into dividing their fellow citizens or citizens-to-be into those who belong and those who do not. Preliminary to extensive ethnographic field research, the authors assume transmigrancy and diasporic reli-gion respectively as central features that might challenge current fictions of modern secular sovereignty.
Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • belonging
  • nationness
  • Dutch Caribbean
  • nonsovereignty
  • classroom ethnography
  • children


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