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Harem Vanuatu : the liminality and communitas of Port Vila and its young people


Harem Vanuatu : the liminality and communitas of Port Vila and its young people

Silverstone, Rebecca (2002) Harem Vanuatu : the liminality and communitas of Port Vila and its young people. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Based on 8 months of fieldwork, this thesis attempts to look at the role of anthropological thought and methods in empowering young people in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu. In Port Vila, a group of young Ni-Vanuatu researchers are using many of anthropology's methodological tools to conduct research on urban and more recently, rural youth. Using qualitative field research; action-oriented advocacy in the form of newsletters, videos, and health workshops, business and post-educational training have been developed to help young people. Towns throughout Melanesia are experiencing some of the most rapid urban growth in the world and during this substantial transformation, youth are in the process of negotiating identities for themselves. Using Victor Turner's notion of 'liminality', and with regards to the concept of 'kastom', this thesis examines why life in town may bring about liminality, which young people seem to be particularly affected. Due to the work done by the Young People's Project, a unifying voice (a sense of 'communitas') for young people has emerged and resolved several of the stereotypes which cast youth in a negative light. This thesis also examines the history of Vanuatu from its ethnographic origins and colonization, in order to document the various tensions that urbanization has caused to personhood and notion of place. Place is a key and defining quality of identity, which has been dramatically altered in urban space. How young people establish a sense of personhood when so many of the major qualities that attach person to place have been marginalized, is a central focus of this research.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Silverstone, Rebecca
Pagination:viii, 179 leaves : maps ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jourdan, Christine
ID Code:2148
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:18
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