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At Home and in the FieldEthnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands$
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Suzanne S. Finney, Mary Mostafanezhad, Guido Carlo Pigliasco, and Forrest Wade Young

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 12 July 2020

Tales of the Talā (Dollar)

Tales of the Talā (Dollar)

Notes on Cars, Consumption, and Class in American Sāmoa1

Chapter:
(p.175) Tales of the Talā (Dollar)
Source:
At Home and in the Field
Author(s):

Fa‘anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.003.0030

This chapter features “homework” conducted in American Sāmoa that illustrates how the intensification of transnational flows of goods, people, and ideas in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have transformed local values about cars, mobility, and social status. The mobility that the car has introduced makes a big difference between having one and not having one, enabling access to different consumer items for wider swaths of local people. In addition to accessing consumer goods more easily, car culture has enabled the transformation of everyday patterns of movement for many on the island. Because of these shifts in daily patterns of movement and consumption and their link to the cash economy, they also suggest changes in local social organization, where one's social status is not always primarily determined by one's relation to ranking titles (although clearly this is still very important).

Keywords:   cars, American Sāmoa, car culture, mobility, social status, social organization, movement patterns, consumption patterns

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