This classic study was originally published in 1949 in Dutch as Samenleving in een grensgebied. This English translation is based on a second revised Dutch edition from 1971. The point of departure is J.S. Furnivall’s concept of ‘plural society’ to sketch the historical development of Suriname. The author focuses on the social relations that determined life in the colony. In the final part, discussing the period from the abolition of slavery to World War II, relatively more attention is given to the Creoles or Afro-Surinamese than to the populations of Asian descent, because the influence exercised by the Creole group during that period was predominant.