Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Elizabeth Garland




income distribution, tourism, Barbados, neocolonialism


The purpose of my thesis is, through my own field research, to analyze the impact of tourism on local Barbadian culture. Caribbean tourism draws strong criticisms from anthropologists due to the region’s geographical location and environmental landscape, its history of colonialism, and the economic vulnerabilities that result from the wealth discrepancy between the local people and the tourists that vacation there. On the very small and densely populated island of Barbados, nearly every person is impacted by tourism. The focus of my ethnography is the cultural exchanges between guests and hosts, most specifically bartenders. A bar harbors many important elements of the Caribbean tourism literature; neocolonialism, service versus servitude, and authenticity and genuineness. Bartenders arguably have the most intimate and in-depth interactions with tourists, and their encounters with tourists are extremely representative of many issues surrounding Caribbean tourism, providing a good way to explore the impacts of tourism on local culture in a very micro setting. I use my knowledge of the culture and my first-hand interviews with bartenders to draw my own conclusions about the role of tourism in Barbados, how the locals feel about it, and whether it is as detrimental to social life as the literature suggests.