Steward, Julian Haynes, 1902-1972. The people of Puerto Rico: a study in social anthropology

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part I Introduction

Research Objectives

General Characteristics Of Puerto Rico


The Concept Of Culture

Levels Of Sociocultural Organization

National Sociocultural Systems

Cultural Personality And Culture

Dynamics Of Cultural Change

Procedures And Methods

The Community Study Method

The National Or Insular Culture

Field Studies

Implications For Area Research

P Art Ii T He Cultural Background Of Contemporary Puerto Rico

1 T He Cultural Historical Approach

2 Period I: Discovery And Introduction Of Iberian Patterns ( 1493–1700 )


Economic Development


Labor Power And Social Structure

Sociocultural Groups



Puerto Rico's External Relations

3 Period Ii: Increasing Export Agriculture ( Early Eighteenth Century To Early Nineteenth Century )






Land Tenure And Land Use

Labor Force And Social Structure



Puerto Rico's External Relations

Sociocultural Groups

4 Period Iii: Expanding Export Agriculture (1815–1898)




Land Use





Minor Crops


Money And Credit

Land Tenure

Labor Force



Sociocultural Groups

5 P Eriod Iv: N Ational Patterns During The American Period (1898–1948)


Economic Patterns

Land Tenure

Crop Production

Sugar Cane

Land Reform



Minor Crops





The Integration Of Puerto Rico's Economy With The United States

Governmental Patterns

The American Occupation—1898

The Organic Act, 1917

The Depression Years

World War Ii And The New Deal

Modern Political Structure

Democracy In Puerto Rico

The Catholic Church

The Separation Of The State And Church

The Catholic Church And Catholicism





Part Iii Types Of Subcultures And Local Rural Communities: Field Studies Of Farm And Town Life

6 Tabara: Subcultures Of A Tobacco And Mixed Crops Municipality


The Problem

The Method Of Selecting Tabara

The Setting

Historical Background

Geography, Climate, Topography, And Soils

Settlement Pattern

The Hierarchy Of Relationships

The Land And Productive Process

Land Use And Potential

Working Conditions And Practices

Land Tenure

Credit And Capital

Marketing And Distribution


The Municipality: Local Aspects Of Insular Institutions

The Municipal Government

Religion And Magic


Radio And The Press


Social Organization: The Class Structure Of The Municipality


Historical Changes In The Structure

The Rural Culture


Rural Lower Class

Rural Middle Class

Rural Upper Class—a

Rural Upper Class—b

Groups A And B

Summary Of Rural Subcultures

Relation Between The Crop And The Local Culture


The Cash Crop



Subsidiary Economic Activities

Ritual Kin And Neighbor Relationships


The Supernatural

Trade Unions


Owner-worker Relationships

Isolation And Some Consequences


Radios And Newspapers

Social Organization


Interpretation And Conclusions

7 San José Subcultures Of A “traditional” Coffee Municipality


The Problem Of The Coffee Subcultures


A Sketch Of The Municipio Of San José

Productive Factors

The Technology Of Coffee Production

Coffee Production And The Geographical Environment

Historical Development Of The Coffee Pattern

The Early Subsistence Farms

The Rise Of The Hacienda System

The Rise Of The Town

United States Occupation And The Period Of Transition

General Features Of The Rural Culture

The Round Of Work And Ceremonial

The Hierarchy Of Ownership

Subcultures Of The Rural Area

The Peasantry

The Middle Farmers

The Agricultural Workers

The Hacienda

The Rural Neighborhoods

General Features Of The Town Culture

Signs Of Culture Change



Politics And Law


Classes In Transition


8 N Ocorá: T He Subculture Of Workers On A Government-owned Sugar Plantation


Research Problem

Selection Of The Community

General Characteristics Of Nocorá

The Field Approach

The Setting

The Landscape And Natural Resources

Settlement Patterns

Historical Sketch

Period Of Subsistence/agriculture And Grazing

The Rise Of Hacienas

Early Phase Of American Occupation, 1898–1910

The Corporate Land And Mill, 1910–1930

The Depression Years, The 1930's

The Economic Reform, The 1940's

Economic Patterns

General Features

Large-scale Sugar Production

The Proportional-profit Farm

Earning A Living

Sources Of Income

Subsidiary Economic Activities

Standard Of Living

Social Structure

The History Of Local Classes

The Contemporary Class Structure

Kinship And The Family

Child Rearing

Attitudes Toward Sex


The Family Unit

Ritual Kinship

Politics And Government

The Organization Of Bureaucracy

Services Provided By The Puerto Rican Government

Political Leaders And Their Functions

Political Organizations

Organized Labor And Politics

Political Attitudes

Attitudes Toward The Law


The Urban Schools

The Rural Schools

School Curricula

The Social Value Of Education

Radio And Newspapers

Religion And The Supernatural

Organized Religions

The Saints' Cult

Magical Practices


Local Societies


Moving Pictures

Informal Recreation

Summary And Conclusions

9 Cañamelar: The Subculture Of A Rural Sugar Plantation Proletariat


The Problem

The Definition Of The Community

The Selection Of The Sugar Cane Growing Communities

Methodology And Choice Of Community

Field Work Methods

The Setting

He Regional Setting

The Community Setting

The Past

Labor Power And The Plantation System

Land And Technology

The History Of Cañamelar

Life On The Family-type Hacienda

The Change To The Corporate Land-and-factory Combine

Making A Living

The Sugar Cane Workers Of Barrio Poyal

Seasonal Work Patterns

Working In The Sugar Cane

The Place Of Subsidiary Economic Activities

Socioeconomic Mobility And Stratification

The Colonia Hierarchy And Its Functions

Socioeconomic Mobility

Standards Of Living

The Family, Socialization And Ritual Kinship In Barrio Poyal

The Social Functions Of The Family

The Socialization Process

The Social Functions Of Ritual Kinship

The Role Of The Town In Rural Life

The Political Scene

Political Functioning On The Local Level

The Political Nature Of Union Organization

Health, Folk Medicine, Food Habits, And Folk Arts And Science


Folk Medicine

Food Habits

Folk Arts And Science


Education And Class

Radio And The Press



The Social Meaning Of Race

Values And Value Changes In Barrio Poyal


10 The Prominent Families Of Puerto Rico


General Problem

Field Techniques

Defining The Group

Some Characteristics Of The Prominent Families

Income And Occupation

Economic Criteria

Racial Criteria

Ethnic Tradition

Social Skills



Cultural And Social Deviants


The Business Executive As A Social Type

Making More Than A Living

Economic Status And Other Rewards

Standard Of Living

Socialization And Education


The School Age Child

The Young Man And Woman

Formal Education

The Family

Attitudes Toward Sex And Marriage

Selection Of A Spouse

Courtship And Marriage


Ritual Kinship

Changes In The Family

Political Behavior


Americanization Of Politics: Party Platforms

Women In Politics

Religious Behavior


Other Religious Beliefs


Childhood Amusements

Elementary-school Age Patterns

Youth Recreational Patterns


Adult Recreation

Recreation For Elderly Adults

Summary And Conclusions

The Changing Culture Of The Prominent Families

Change In Relationship To Levels Of Sociocultural Integration

Part Iv Summary And Conclusions

11 Comparative Analysis Of Regional Subcultures

The Economic Basis

The Productive Patierns

Twentieth-century Changes

The Land Authority

Marketing And Consumer Patterns

Land Tenure

Sociocultural Segmentation

Power Structure

Family And Kinship

Interfamilial Relations Within The Neighborhood

Marriage And The Family

Ritual Kinship


Institutional Controls And Services

Political And Labor Union Activities


Medicine And Health



National Characteristics

12 Nationality In Puerto Rico

“national Characteristics” And Subcultural Differences

The Historical Base—the Spanish Period

Changing Socioeconomic Patterns Of The Nineteenth Century

Internal Differentiation And Integration Of Puerto Rican Society

The Jíbaro And Nationality Under Spain

The Problem Of Race Under Spain

Nationality In The Twentieth Century

The Jíbaro As A Symbol Of Nationalism

Cultural And Political Nationalism

13 Some Hypothetical Regularities Of Cultural Change

Methodological Considerations

Hypotheses Of Insular-wide Trends

The Initial Culture

Factors Of Change

The General Trends

Hypotheses Of A Developmental Or Diachronic Typology

Period I: The Subsistence Farm

Period Ii: The Family Hacienda

Period Iii: The Differentitation And Emergence Of Modern Rural Types

The Four Regional Types

The Corporate Plantation

The Government-owned Plantations

The Small Cash-and-subsistence Crop Farm

Region Of Perennial Cash Crops: The Modified Hacienda And Small Farm

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The people of Puerto Rico: a study in social anthropology

Published By: Original publisher Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1956. x, 540 p.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication [by] Julian H. Steward [et al.]

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2012. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Puerto Ricans (Island) (SU01)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Classes (565); History (175); Acculturation and culture contact (177); External relations (648); Religious denominations (795); General character of religion (771); Special crops (249); Arboriculture (245); Occupational specialization (463); Gender status (562); Artificial kin relationships (608); Ownership and control of capital (471); Labor supply and employment (464); Status, role, and prestige (554); Cultural participation (184); Culture summary (105);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document The objective of the series of monographs in this ethnographic survey is to analyze sociocultural variation in rural Puerto Rico, its historical modification and general processes of historical development. To clarify and refine the concepts and methods of Steward's theory of cultural ecology, the authors here limit their scope of investigation to the major forms of agricultural production of the rural population. Selecting communities that exemplify the principle types of Puerto Rican farm production (corporate sugarcane plantations, government owned sugarcane plantations, small cash-subsistence mixed crop farms, and the modified haciendas and small farms producing coffee), they undertake to determine how sociocultural institutions and processes co-vary with economic type. They also apply Steward's ideas of local and class subcultures and levels of sociocultural integration to their data by examining how these rural subcultures function within the larger context of national Puerto Rican culture. This source also analyzes the developmental factors and processes generating these rural subcultures by discussing what features of the local environment differentiate forms of land use and the adaptation of social and political features to the productive processes. In integrating their findings, the various authors develop a set of theoretical propositions about recurrent features of cultural structure, function, and history in all these contrasting Puerto Rican rural cultures, which had diverse regional and local origins and traditions. Accordingly, in the concluding chapters, the authors use historical and ecological evidence to construct a developmental or diachronic typology to determine the structural-functional origins and sequences of the existing synchronic variation in these rural agrarian ecosystems and sociopolitical systems. This field research on rural Puerto Rico was undertaken by the several authors as doctoral dissertation requirements at Columbia University under Julian Steward's direction. This volume represents a later compilation of their research findings and interpretations, again under Steward's editorship.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. su01-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Collection

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Notes: "A Social Science Research Center study, College of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico." Includes bibliographical references (p. 516-526) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1948-1949

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist, Indigene - 4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Gilbert Winer; 1967-1968 ; John Beierle; 2011

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1700-1949

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Puerto Rico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Puerto Rico--Social life and customs//Puerto Rico--Rural conditions


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