Bruno Cousin, Sébastien Chauvin (2013)

Islanders, Immigrants and Millionaires: The Dynamics of Upper-Class Segregation in St. Barts.

Pp. 186-200 in Geographies of the Super-Rich. Edited by Iain Hay. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Saint-Barthélemy is one of the most exclusive seaside resorts in the world. The three groups interacting locally – historic Saint-Barths, metropolitan immigrants, and super-rich vacationers or villa owners – are all overwhelmingly white. Their cohabitation maintains the elitist character of the island, while obliterating most of its Caribbean heritage. St. Barts’ resort identity is structured around a generic brand of exoticism, local variation of a global space of upper-class leisure. By insisting on the multi-class co-production of elite seaside locations, we lay emphasis on the roles of service relations and upper-class dynamics of distinction in the reconfiguration of local cultures within the places patronized by the super-rich.

St. Barts’ resort identity is structured around a generic brand of exoticism, local variation of a global space of upper-class leisure. By insisting on the multi-class co-production of elite seaside locations, we lay emphasis on the roles of service relations and upper-class dynamics of distinction in the reconfiguration of local cultures within the places patronized by the super-rich.