World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Orlando Patterson

Orlando Patterson (born 5 June 1940) is a Jamaican-born American historical and cultural sociologist known for his work regarding issues of race in the United States, as well as the sociology of development. His book Freedom, Volume One, or Freedom in the Making of Western Culture (1991), won the U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction.[1]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Professional associations 3
  • Awards 4
  • Selected bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Patterson was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica, and grew up in Clarendon Parish in the small town of May Pen. He attended primary school there, then moved to Kingston to attend Kingston College. He went on to earn a BSc in Economics from the University of the West Indies, Mona, in 1962, and his Ph.D. in Sociology at the London School of Economics in 1965.[2]


Earlier in his career, Patterson was concerned with the economic and political development of his home country, Jamaica. He served as special advisor to Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica, from 1972 to 1979.

Patterson is known for his work on the relationship between slavery and Social death, which he has worked on extensively and written several books about.

Patterson has appeared on PBS and has been a guest columnist in The New York Times. A recent article in the latter, "The Real Problem With America’s Inner Cities," used the lens of developmental sociology to analyze recent protests and looting in West Baltimore.[3]

Patterson currently holds the John Cowles chair in Sociology at Harvard University.

In October 2015 he received the Gold Musgrave Medal in recognition of his contribution to literature.[4]

Professional associations


Selected bibliography

  • The Children of Sisyphus (novel). 1965.
  • An Absence of Ruins (novel). 1967.
  • The Sociology of Slavery. 1967.
  • An Analysis of the Origins, Development and Structure of Negro Slave Society in Jamaica. 1968.
  • Die the Long Day (novel). 1972.
  • Ethnic Chauvinism: The Reactionary Impulse. 1977.
  • Slavery and Social Death. 1982. 
  • Freedom in the Making of Western Culture. 1991.  Later renamed Freedom, Vol. 1: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture — winner of National Book Award[1]
  • Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries. 1999. 
  • Freedom: Freedom in the Modern World. 2006. 
  • The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth (with Ethan Fosse). 2015.


  1. ^ a b c "National Book Awards – 1991". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  2. ^ Author information at Peepal Tree Press.
  3. ^ Patterson, Orlando (May 9, 2015). "The Real Problem in America's Inner Cities". New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Gold for Sly and Robbie", Jamaica Gleaner, 30 October 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015

External links

  • Patterson Biography at Harvard
  • Patterson's Curriculum Vitae
  • Video of debate/discussion with Patterson on
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • , April 12, 1992.Freedom in the Making of Western Culture interview with Patterson on Booknotes

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.