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Belonging in Oceania: Movement, Place-Making and Multiple Identifications

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Volume 3

Pacific Perspectives: Studies of the European Society for Oceanists

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Belonging in Oceania

Movement, Place-Making and Multiple Identifications

Edited by Elfriede Hermann, Wolfgang Kempf and Toon van Meijl

232 pages,

ISBN  978-1-78238-415-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2014)

eISBN 978-1-78238-416-8 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This interesting book contributes to notions of identity in the context of displacement or migration. Specifically, it engages with the dynamics and uncertainties that arise with movement away from home and the inevitable encounters between different cultural contexts that occur through such movement… I was captivated by the meticulousness with which some of these chapters were written, and appreciate the micro-scale in which anthropological research operates.” · Asian and Pacific Migration Journal

“I am impressed by the direction and content of this book. It offers a timely engagement with the important social science concepts of movement, place-making, and multiple-identifications. But whereas in other recent studies these notions have usually been theorized and empiricised as isolates, here they are triangulated in an intellectually original and productive way.” · Tom Ryan, University of Waikato


Ethnographic case studies explore what it means to “belong” in Oceania, as contributors consider ongoing formations of place, self and community in connection with travelling, internal and international migration. The chapters apply the multi-dimensional concepts of movement, place-making and cultural identifications to explain contemporary life in Oceanic societies. The volume closes by suggesting that constructions of multiple belongings—and, with these, the relevant forms of mobility, place-making and identifications—are being recontextualized and modified by emerging discourses of climate change and sea-level rise.

Elfriede Hermann is Professor at the Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Göttingen and has conducted research with the Ngaing of Papua New Guinea, the Banabans of Rabi Island (Fiji) and Banaba Island (Kiribati), and the inhabitants of Kiribati.

Wolfgang Kempf has taught cultural anthropology at the Universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg and Göttingen and is currently a researcher at the Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Göttingen. He has conducted fieldwork among the Ngaing of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, among the Banabans of Fiji, and in Kiribati.

Toon van Meijl is Professor of Anthropology and Head of the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Pacific and Asian Studies at Nijmegen. Since 1982 van Meijl has conducted 30 months of ethnographic fieldwork among the Tainui Māori in New Zealand.

Subject: Refugee and Migration Studies Mobility Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific



Introduction: Movement, Place-making and Cultural Identification: Multiplicities of Belonging  
Wolfgang Kempf, Toon van Meijl and Elfriede Hermann

Chapter 1. Culture as Experience: Constructing Identities through Cross-cultural Encounters
Eveline Dürr

Chapter 2. ‘Forty Plus Different Tribes’: Displacement, Place-making and Aboriginal Tribal Names on Palm Island, Australia
Lise Garond

Chapter 3. Coconuts and the Landscape of Underdevelopment on Panapompom, Papua New Guinea
Will Rollason

Chapter 4. Invisible Villages in the City: Niuean Constructions of Place and Identity in Auckland
Hilke Thode-Arora

Chapter 5. Migration and Identity: Cook Islanders’ Relation to Land
Arno Pascht

Chapter 6. Protestantism among the Pacific Peoples in New Zealand: Mobility, Cultural Identifications, and Generational Shifts
Yannick Fer and Gwendoline Malogne-Fer

Chapter 7. Identity and Belonging in Cross-cultural Friendship: Māori and Pākehā Experiences
Agnes Brandt

Epilogue: Uncertain Futures of Belonging: Consequences of Climate Change and Sea-level Rise in Oceania
Wolfgang Kempf and Elfriede Hermann

Notes on Contributors

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