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Identity and Development presents a remarkable record of Tonga’s increasing participation in the modern global economy, and provides anthropologists, economists, and historians with a detailed case study that bears heavily on major issues of the day, both practically and theoretically. The book focuses on issues of identity, entrepreneurship, and the intricacies of development and addresses the question: ‘How (in the current state of the economy) can a Tongan become a successful grower?’ This question is set against the background of a boom in cash cropping, sparked by a burgeoning export trade with Japan.
Religion, Cosmology and Spirit Classification among the Nage of Eastern Indonesia
Beneath the Volcano is the first major account of the Nage, who inhabit the central part of Flores in eastern Indonesia.
The book focuses on Nage ideas concerning a variety of spiritual beings and how these influence both ritual practices and ideas about human beings. In exploring these subjects, the author sets out to uncover a classification of spirits. While quite different from taxonomies of natural beings, Nage ways of linking named categories of spirits nevertheless reveal a regular conceptual order. In describing this order, use is made of a version of Dumont's notion of 'encompassment'. Common ideas informing relations between Nage humans and several categories of spirits are further interpreted as instances of a pervasive principle of 'symmetric inversion', according to which human beings are spirits for the spirits.
Islanders of the South is an ethnography of the kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. This is the first book to examine the interplay of Polynesian and Western ideas within contemporary social and economic practices, not from the point of view of Tongan aristocracy, but from that of the common people.
The first describes contemporary Tongan society and the main means of subsistence: agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing. An analysis of the kinship system, with its economic, political, and ideological dimensions, is intertwined with a discussion of Tongan attitudes on life and death, marriage and divorce, social rights and obligations, migration and remittances. Later chapters deal with the crucial questions of land ownership and the circulation of gifts. A large number of genealogies, biographies, and case studies help convey how Tongans live together and how they experience their relationship to nature.
Effects on Tonga of global developments—predominantly capitalist in nature—are expressed in the commercialization of the means of subsistence, bringing about changes often regarded as progress. The author raises doubts about this ideology of progress by referring to aspects of nature and culture in Tonga which are disappearing. Up to now Tongans have largely been able to preserve the circulation of gifts and economic self-sufficiency.