Shifting images of identity in the Pacific

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This book examines how identities emerge, persist and change in various Pacific societies. The “shifting images” of identity are explored in pre-colonial, colonial as well as post-colonial circumstances. All the essays in this volume address both continuity and discontinuity in the construction of identities in the rapidly changing Pacific region. A region increasingly characterized by state-formation processes and global influences. The introduction provides a theoretical analysis of the changing paradigm in the study of identity over recent decades. This is exemplified with a comparative overview of the emergence of a constructivist approach of culture, tradition and identity in Pacific studies. Nine ethnographic contributions subsequently address the central question from a variety of different angles. Some chapters focus on classic topics such as migration and myth, while others deal with indigenous peoples in modern nation-states, tourism, economic development, global consumerism or electronic communication. The societies in question range from relatively isolated groups to communities living dispersed around the globe. Each chapter provides valuable insights into the processes of identity in the Pacific over time. An epilogue provides a comparative reading of the different theoretical solutions that have been proposed to make sense of the “shifting images” of identity in the contemporary, increasingly transnational Pacific. CONTENTS: Toon van Meijl: Introduction Don Gardner: The advent and history of Miyanmin identity Jelle Miedema: Identities as parameters of continuity and change in a West Papua Society Allen Abramson: A small matter of some rent to be paid; Towards an analysis of neo-traditional action in contemporary Fiji Monique Jeudy-Ballini: The lives of the mask; A few Sulka reasons for perplexity Judy Flores: Artists and activists in cultural identity construction in the Mariana Islands Erich Kolig: From a “madonna in a condom” to “claiming the airwaves”; The Maori cultural renaissance and biculturalism in New Zealand Wolfgang Kempf: The drama of death as narrative of survival; Dance theater, traveling, and thirdspace among the Banabans of Fiji Elfriede Hermann: Emotions, agency, and the displaced self of the Banabans in Fiji Alan Howard & Jan Rensel: Rotuman identity in the electronic age Jocelyn Linnekin: Epilogue; Is “cultural identity” an anachronism in a transnational world?

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