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Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics$
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Niko Besnier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833381

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833381.001.0001

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Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics

Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics

(p.189) 8 Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics
Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics

Niko Besnier

University of Hawai'i Press

The concluding chapter brings together strands of the argument developed in this book. It discusses the micro–macro linkage between interaction and the larger social context, and the tension between emotion and politics. All aspects of social and political life on the atoll, from the public to the intimate, operate at the convergence of seemingly divergent forces: on the one hand, the forces of locality, smallness, sedentarism, and isolation, with which Nukulaelae people associate order, stasis, and continuity; and, on the other hand, the forces of nationhood, transnationalism, migrations, capitalism, modernity, and world-scale ecological change, which the islanders associate with uncertainty and discontinuity. Emotions and morality play a central role in Nukulaelae understandings of political and social action. Islanders foreground emotions and morality when they evaluate each other’s actions, reactions, and decisions.

Keywords:   Nukulaelae people, gossip, political action, emotions, morality, interaction, politics

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