Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Global and Sociocultural Studies

First Advisor's Name

Stephen M. Fjellman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Janet Chernela

Third Advisor's Name

Hugh Gladwin

Date of Defense

4-21-1999

Abstract

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.

Identifier

FI14050492

Included in

Sociology Commons

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