This volume offers a theoretical exploration of the concept of the communication system as a tool of social inquiry. Focusing on the discourse of conflict management, Arno explores the linkage between everyday communication about conflict, through talk and other forms of message exchange among individuals and groups, and large-scale societal conflicts and the institutions that shape change by maintaining dominant forms of communicative causation (cause and effect in social situations). This volume also develops a theory of the relationship between conflict and communication that demands ethnography as a theoretical necessity.
The Historical Dictionary of Fiji contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Fiji.
Tides of Innovation in Oceania is directly inspired by Epeli Hau‘ofa’s vision of the Pacific as a ‘Sea of Islands’; the image of tides recalls the cyclical movement of waves, with its unpredictable consequences. The authors propose tides of innovation as a fluid concept, unbound and open to many directions. This perspective is explored through ethnographic case studies centred on deeply elaborated analyses of locally inflected agencies involved in different transforming contexts. Three interwoven themes—value, materiality and place—provide a common thread.
The pioneering and hugely influential work of Mikhail Bakhtin has led scholars in recent decades to see all discourse and social life as inherently "dialogical." No speaker speaks alone, because our words are always partly shaped by our interactions with others, past and future. Moreover, we never fashion ourselves entirely by ourselves, but always do so in concert with others. Bakhtin thus decisively reshaped modern understandings of language and subjectivity. And yet, the contributors to this volume argue that something is potentially overlooked with too close a focus on dialogism: many speakers, especially in charged political and religious contexts, work energetically at crafting monologues, single-voiced statements to which the only expected response is agreement or faithful replication. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from the United States, Iran, Cuba, Indonesia, Algeria, and Papua New Guinea, the authors argue that a focus on "the monologic imagination" gives us new insights into languages' political design and religious force, and deepens our understandings of the necessary interplay between monological and dialogical tendencies.
Our Wealth Is Loving Each Other explores the fluid and context-bound nature of cultural and personal identity among indigenous Fijians. National identity in Fiji often emphasizes a romantic, premodern tradition based on a chiefly hierarchy contrasted to the "individualistic" cultures of Westerners and of Indo-Fijians. But indigenous Fijian villagers are generally more concerned with defining their identity vis-a-vis other community members, urban and overseas relatives, and other regions of the country. When people craft self-accounts to justify their position within the indigenous Fijian community, they question and redefine both tradition and modernity. Modernity on the margins is an experience of anxiety-provoking contradictions between competing ideologies-that of international ideologies versus local experiences. indigenous Fijians have been exposed to global ideas and government programs extolling the virtues of "premodern" communities that place communal good and time-honored tradition over individual gain. But other waves of policy and rhetoric have stressed individual achievement and the need to "shake" individuals out of community bonds to foster economic development. Individuals feel contradictory pressures to be autonomous, achieving individuals and to subordinate self to community and tradition. Karen J. Brison examines traditional kava ceremonies, evangelical church rhetoric, and individual life history narratives to show how individuals draw on a repertoire of narratives from local and international culture to define their identity and sense of self. Our Wealth Is Loving Each Other is appropriate for upper-level students and anyone with an interest in Fiji or anthropology. Book jacket.
Today, most indigenous Fijians are Christians, and the Methodist Church is the foundation of their social and political lives. Yet, as this thought-provoking study of life on rural Kadavu Island finds, Fijians also believe that their ancestors possessed an inherent strength that is lacking in the present day. Looking in particular at the interaction between the church and the traditional chiefly system, Matt Tomlinson finds that this belief about the superiority of the past provokes great anxiety, and that Fijians seek ways of recovering this strength through ritual and political action—Christianity itself simultaneously generates a sense of loss and the means of recuperation. To unravel the cultural dynamics of Christianity in Fiji, Tomlinson explores how this loss is expressed through everyday language and practices.
A classic question in studies of ritual is how ritual performances achieve-or fail to achieve-their effects. In this pathbreaking book, Matt Tomlinson argues that participants condition their own expectations of ritual success by interactively creating distinct textual patterns of sequence, conjunction, contrast, and substitution. Drawing on long-term research in Fiji, Ritual Textuality presents in-depth studies of each of these patterns, taken from a wide range of settings: a fiery, soul-saving Pentecostal crusade; relaxed gatherings at which people drink the narcotic beverage kava; deathbeds at which missionaries eagerly await the signs of good Christians' "happy deaths"; and the monologic pronouncements of a military-led government determined to make the nation speak in a single voice. In each of these cases, Tomlinson also examines the broad ideologies of motion which frame participants' ritual actions, such as Pentecostals' beliefs that effective worship requires ecstatic movement like jumping, dancing, and clapping, and nineteenth-century missionaries' insistence that the journeys of the soul in the afterlife should follow a new path. By approaching ritual as an act of "entextualization"-in which the flow of discourse is turned into object-like texts-while analyzing the ways people expect words, things, and selves to move in performance, this book presents a new and compelling way to understand the efficacy of ritual action.
How do ordinary people respond when their lives are irrevocably altered by terror and violence? Susanna Trnka was residing in an Indo-Fijian village in the year 2000 during the Fijian nationalist coup. The overthrow of the elected multiethnic party led to six months of nationalist aggression, much of which was directed toward Indo-Fijians. In State of Suffering, Trnka shows how Indo-Fijians' lives were overturned as waves of turmoil and destruction swept across Fiji. Describing the myriad social processes through which violence is articulated and ascribed meaning-including expressions of incredulity, circulation of rumors, narratives, and exchanges of laughter and jokes-Trnka reveals the ways in which the community engages in these practices as individuals experience, and try to understand, the consequences of the coup. She then considers different kinds of pain caused by political chaos and social turbulence, including pain resulting from bodily harm, shared terror, and the distress precipitated by economic crisis and social dislocation. Throughout this book, Trnka focuses on the collective social process through which violence is embodied, articulated, and silenced by those it targets. Her sensitive ethnography is a valuable addition to the global conversation about the impact of political violence on community life.
Vernacular Approaches to the Bible in Global Christianity
Author: Melanie Baffes
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
As biblical hermeneutics moves increasingly toward the inclusion of vernacular approaches to the text—understandings of the Bible based on culture, context, and human experience—many communities of faith around the world are contributing their voices to the conversation of global Christianity. This volume explores reading methods and text interpretations of believers in South Africa, the Caribbean, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, India, Kenya, Fiji, Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Nigeria—revealing the ways various faith communities read the Bible contextually. Essays in this volume also illustrate the impact of the biblical text in people’s lives—on their understandings of oppression, identity, the plight of refugees, decline and loss, the relationship between church and society, imperialism, homelessness, restorative justice, bodily experiences of the Holy Spirit, and time and the future. Together, these writings provide an in-depth sense of how global Christians read the Bible through the lens of their own tradition or culture, as well as how the Bible informs all aspects of their lives as they read the world biblically.