Current sociological understandings tend to presuppose that the transformation of inequality patterns entails a series of “new” phenomena, which make the coining of new concepts such as the “Europeanization” and the “transnationalization” of social inequality necessary. In turn, the paper argues that, at least since the European expansion into the Americas, inequalities have been the result of transnational processes arising from transregional entanglements between shifting metropolitan and peripheral areas. To this end, the paper uses the example of the Caribbean as “Europe’s fi rst colonial backyard” (S. Mintz) in order to show the historical continuities between “creolization” as a term originally coined to describe processes specific to the Caribbean and what is being analyzed today under the label of the “transnationalization” of (Western) Europe. In showing how the transregional fl ows of people, goods, and capital established transnational links between inequality patterns between Europe and its colonies in the Caribbean as early as the sixteenth century, the paper subsequently claims that theorizing the continuum of structures of power linking colonialism to (post) coloniality is an essential element in of the endeavor of creolizing Europe.
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