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Identity through History

Identity through History
Living Stories in a Solomon Islands Society


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: February 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521533324

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • For people who live in small communities transformed by powerful outside forces, narrative accounts of culture contact and change create images of collective identity through the idiom of shared history. How may we understand the processes that make such accounts compelling for those who tell them? Why do some narratives acquire a kind of mythic status as they are told and retold in a variety of contexts and genres? Identity Through History attempts to explain how identity formation developed among the people of Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands who were victimised by raiding headhunters in the nineteenth century, and then embraced Christianity around the turn of the century. Making innovative use of work in psychological and historical anthropology, Geoffrey White shows how these significant events were crucial to the community's view of itself in shifting social and political circumstances.

    • This book presents an anthropological study of processes of identity formation in a Solomon Islands society. A similar book to Borofskys Making History
    • A case study in psychological anthropology - one of the fastest growing subfields in the discipline
    • The author is a respected young US anthropologist who has edited and written books on the Pacific. Influential in the field of psychological anthropology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'White's book is a rich and nuanced contribution to the literature on perceptions of the past and colonial change in the Pacific … an important contribution to Pacific anthropology.' Man

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521533324
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.448kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Orientations:
    2. First encounters
    3. Portraits of the past
    4. Chiefs, persons and power
    Part II. Transformations:
    5. Crisis and Christianity
    6. Conversions and consolidation
    Part III. Narrations:
    7. Becoming Christian: playing with history
    8. Missionary encounters: narrating the self
    Part IV. Revitalization:
    9. Collisions and convergence
    10. The paramount chief: rites of renewal
    11. Conclusion

  • Author

    Geoffrey M. White, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

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