Niko Besnier's illuminating ethnography analyzes the ways in which segments of this small-scale society grapple with their growing anxiety and hold on to different understandings of what modernity means. Flea market traders and pawnshop owners have to balance the necessities of capitalist enterprise with obligations to family and kinship. The last ethnographic part of the book turns to evangelical churches as modernizing projects. Besnier touches on the sociological concept of imagination. This may be for those who might not be able to recognize the significance of the order and connectedness between his topics and the approach he uses to lead up to what he will accomplish. The fact that he is approaching this topic in a new and different way has an effect on the Tongans, because they cannot understand or anticipate what it is Besnier is after.
It is important that this comes before hand because it sets up and understanding for the rest of the information that is provided in later chapters. His book, remarkable in its nuanced, respectful depiction of the emotional lives and intellectual perspectives of diverse informants, is wonderful in argument and ethnography. Life in twenty-first century Tonga is rife with uncertainties. In the day-to-day lives of Tongans, the weight of transformations brought on by neoliberalism and democracy press not in the abstract, but in individually significant ways: how to make ends meet, how to pay lip service to tradition, and how to present a modern self without opening oneself to ridicule. Adopting a wide-angled perspective that brings together political, economic, cultural, and social concerns, this book focuses on the interface between the different forms that modern uncertainties take.
Why is the participation in the gym so important to Tongan people? However, for the modern Tongan women, trips to the salon represent their breaking away from the social constraint of traditional Tongan culture. They come back each year to attend the festivals, visit family and pageants. Another valuable piece is added to the literature about Tonga, contributing to the understanding of its fascinating reality. Shame is the emotional tie that pawning and gift exchange encompass which is mentioned throughout the entire book. While he mentions the Tongans throughout the preface, there is a deeper meaning to this section that separates it from the rest of the book.
King George Tupou I became king through the helped of British Wesleyan missionaries. Secondly he mentions the migrations that take place, both eternal and external. While the Miss Heilala pageant is indeed popular, the Miss Galaxy pageant, which showcases transgender males leiti , is often thought to be more entertaining by the general population. All these contribute to the modern anxieties that Tongans face today about their body image. The government allowed them, but tried to put small taxes on the stalls. How is body image portrayed in Tongan society? For anybody interested both in region or the topics more generally, this book is a must-read.
When Tongans migrate to other countries it is often the desire to seek education. Loosing of the hair is a way for women to resist social control. Besnier describes how people negotiate between modernity and tradition, and how it is affects their everyday life. Life in twenty-first century Tonga is rife with uncertainties. Thus modernity raises multifaceted anxieties: how one can participate in modernity first of all; but also how to be modern without being considered disrespectful of tradition and thus to experience humiliation and shame. Tongans that have migrated to industrial countries were not allowed before to claim dual citizenship until 2008, where they were allowed to claim dual citizenship if they were able to demonstrate Tongan descent. What caused the sudden emergence in the beauty salon industry? Would you be a vendor trying to make money or just for social interactions? This well-written book sheds valuable insights not only on modern Tongan society, but also on issues and challenges that many modernizing societies face.
For that reason, they are expected to showcase their modernity in the pageant in multiple ways. Sina Emde Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany p. Clothing is another major factor that plays a role in modernity. Besnier breaks up the concept of modernity, and applies it into the Tongan frame, into several sections: theoretical contexts, plurals, bifocality, sites, selves, objects and bodies. How should it be made relevant to local contexts? Rugby is a well known international sport; the athletes represent the youthful men that portray the image of the Tongans. If so why, if not why? Most of the goods are imported from other Tongans that live abroad in other parts of the world. How should it be made relevant to local contexts? While they do it in different ways, both pageants show the ability to blend modern and traditional aspects of society into a single event, and pose questions to the society as a whole, though those questions are likely not to be wittingly acknowledged.
Besides its profound insights, the book is also just pleasant to read, comprehensible even in its most theoretical parts, as entertaining as it is instructive in its descriptions of daily life, and with a fine sense of humour shining through occasionally. His book, remarkable in its nuanced, respectful depiction of the emotional lives and intellectual perspectives of diverse informants, is wonderful in argument and ethnography. In mainstream denominations we can see the formal style of dress of its congregants, men wearing the traditional heavy jackets and sober neckties ties and woman wearing the traditional style of dress Pultelaba and Kiekie, while in a Pentecostal and charismatic church we can see a more relaxed tone of dress. Clear, smart, witty, and touching. Niko Besnier outlines the main encounters of uncertainties with in the Tongan culture in this modernistic era. Keenly situated on the global edge, and on the edges of bodies and things, Besnier's study of Tonga as a nervous kaleidoscope-of make-up, make-over, bodybuilding, and the pawning and reselling of everyday things-is sharply observed and beautifully drawn. This includes how to express a modern self without opening oneself to criticism.
Most of the fea markets do not offer or sale name brand items, because due to the high import tax it would cost too much for the vendor to sell and make a profit. Not just the individuals who pawn, but also the people who engage in buying it also. Chapter 5 Roxanne and Fiona Modern bodies on the runway This chapter covers beauty pageants, there are two types: Miss Heilala, and Miss Galaxy. How should it be made relevant to local contexts? Shirts are from China the printed name of Tonga is from Hawaii and the baskets and pottery are from New Zealand. His nuanced analysis of the multifaceted processes at work makes the book valuable not only for scholars of Pacific societies and their diasporas, but for everyone concerned with contemporary dynamics of globalization. Clear, smart, witty, and touching.
The upper class of business owners did not like the idea of the fea market and tried to get them outlawed. Long hair signifies masculinity a concept that remains true today. Foreigners have also moved to Tonga islands. The social norm for women is to be worn tight while in public, but can be loosened in a private setting, or when mourning the loss of a loved one. Adopting a wide-angled perspective that brings together political, economic, cultural, and social concerns, this book focuses on the interface between the different forms that modern uncertainties take. Contemporary Issues in Asia and the Pacific.
. In the day-to-day lives of Tongans, the weight of transformations brought on by neoliberalism and democracy press not in the abstract, but in individually significant ways: how to make ends meet, how to pay lip service to tradition, and how to present a modern self without opening oneself to ridicule. But, the stuff sells to locals and tourist alike. The significant part of this chapter is that it is the time when he simply talks about his views and his purpose for studying the Tongan people. His book, remarkable in its nuanced, respectful depiction of the emotional lives and intellectual perspectives of diverse informants, is wonderful in argument and ethnography.