Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Niko Besnier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833381

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833381.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Hierarchy and Egalitarianism

Hierarchy and Egalitarianism

Chapter:
(p.64) 3 Hierarchy and Egalitarianism
Source:
Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics
Author(s):

Niko Besnier

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833381.003.0003

Beneath the overelaborated veneer of harmony and peace that Nukulaelae people try so hard to maintain are long-standing conflicts, contradictions, and complexities about how the island should be organized. This chapter examines the basic ideological tension between a “discourse of nostalgia” and a “discourse of egalitarianism.” Both are part and parcel of what Nukulaelae people articulate quite readily to one another and to the prying anthropologist, although the discourse of nostalgia is more closely associated, in the local logic, with the image of the atoll community as harmonious and peaceful than the discourse of egalitarianism is. In turn, the discourse of egalitarianism is invoked to undermine the hierarchical order put forth in the discourse of nostalgia, and this undermining frequently takes place in gossip. The chapter’s goal is not to locate Nukulaelae’s “genuine culture” in either a harmonious order or a conflictual disorder, or in either hierarchy or egalitarianism. Rather, the atoll’s culture and politics are located in the tensions between these different qualities, at the convergence of these various seemingly incommensurable discourses.

Keywords:   Nukulaelae, island people, egalitarianism, nostalgia, gossip, atoll community

Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.