Whitehead, T. L. (1984). The buccra-massa and the little man’s broker in a jamaican sugartown: Implications for community health education. Social Science & Medicine, 19(5), 561-572.
The consequences of behavioral patterns exhibited by Lc individuals to escape perceived denigration by the Ucs on the design of health service programs are explored. Observation lasting 13 months in a Jamaican town (name unspecified) revealed that the usual practice of avoidance behavior, termed “buccra-massa,” has an antonym of “buck-the-massa,” characterized by the ability to maintain eye contact with higher status people & engage them in conversation. Individuals endowed with this ability frequently serve as intermediaries (“little man’s brokers”) to help Lc persons when interacting with local health care clinicians. While regarded as trouble-making behavior by staff members, it is suggested that maintaining relations with the “little man’s brokers” can enhance community utilization of health services. Some implications for other societies with histories of slavery & extreme social stratification are briefly discussed. Modified HA.
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