Trim: 6⅜ x 9⅜
978-0-7391-1488-9 • Hardback • March 2007 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
978-0-7391-1489-6 • Paperback • August 2008 • $50.99 • (£39.00)
978-0-7391-3126-8 • eBook • March 2007 • $48.50 • (£37.00)
Karen J. Brison is associate professor of Anthropology at Union College.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Self and Society in Western Fiji
Chapter 2 Defining the Community Through Ceremony
Chapter 3 Constructing Self and Community Through Religious Discourse
Chapter 4 Re-Imagining Sociocentrism
Chapter 5 Imagining Modernity in Rakiraki
Chapter 6 Crafting a Community
Chapter 7 Imagining Identity Among Rakiraki Children
Chapter 8 Conclusion: Identity in a "Postcultural" World
Brison has written a fine book that vividly captures the challenges faced by indigenous people in Fiji as they work at self fashioning in a changing world dominated by contradictory systems of values. Showing us how individuals and communities navigate between the pulls of communal and individualist models of selfhood, she gives us a rich, person-centered view of what the global era looks like to those living at its margins. Engagingly written, this is a book that succeeds in bringing theory and ethnography together seamlessly. It deserves to be widely read by people interested in the conjunction of culture and selfhood in the global era.
— Joel Robbins, University of California-San Diego
Karen Brison explores a dimension of social change until now neglected by studies of the indigenous Fijians. This book is enriched by interview data that vividly convey the strivings and dilemmas experienced by her informants in contexts of change and new opportunities. This volume is a compelling study of the dialectics of mind, self and society in contexts of rapid and perplexing social change. Her account of the mutability and multiplicity of self-identities within Fijian communities and beyond them raises questions for future research on the extent to which these changes in imagining the self are influenced by inter-ethnic relations, and on the impact that changing conceptions of self might in turn have on directions of change in ethnic relations.
— Robert Norton; Journal of Pacific History, July 2009
Karen Brison has written a lucid account of Fijian life that probes many of the tensions and contradictions found in globalizing societies today. Most importantly, the reader encounters these predicaments through the voices of a diverse range of Fijians: men, women, and children, who provide eloquent testimony about being indigenous in a (post)modern world. This is one of those rare volumes that advances anthropological debates while giving us a book that also makes for an excellent introduction to contemporary Oceania.
— Geoffrey White, University of Hawai'i