Youth and power in the village hybrid chiefdoms in Fiji [thesis]

Tali Ben David
ii DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to my parents, Adi, Hili, Jerry, Archy and Efrat. I would have never been able to complete this work without their support and love. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to thank the villagers of Nasautoka for their incredible hospitality and patience. I particularly want to thank the Seruvakula family who made it possible for this fieldwork to take place. Dr. Michael M. Davis from the University of the South Pacific, thank you for all your guidance, patience and
more » ... t and always being there when I needed someone to talk to. I would like to thank the members of my committee for their guidance and constructive criticism throughout this long thinking and writing process. v ABSTRACT OF THESIS YOUTH AND POWER IN THE VILLAGE HYBRID CHIEFDOMS IN FIJI The purpose of this study is to provide an alternative approach in analyzing social hybrid situations. The study is based on fieldwork conducted in 1995 in the village of Nasautoka, Fiji. The suggested analysis for hybrid cases is based on Anthony Giddens's structuration theory, with an emphasis on the concept of "agency" and "signification" rules. Giddens conceptualizes agents as both knowledgeable and reflexive. The agent is not viewed as passive and impotent as he paces through social life. Signification rules are extremely useful in analyses of symbolic orders, and shed light on the meaning of both "new" and "old" symbols as they manifest themselves simultaneously in Nasautoka. Of paramount importance is that these new symbols are unfolding beside the "old" symbols represented by the vanua. The vanua is a Fijian social structure with both sociocultural and physical dimensions. The current hybrid is exemplified by two merging structures and by the contrasting reactions of three groups within the village.
doi:10.25148/etd.fi14050492 fatcat:yjl456ya3jawde3calnqc2niru