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Farms, Suburbs, or Retirement Homes? The Transformation of Village Fiji

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Title:Farms, Suburbs, or Retirement Homes? The Transformation of Village Fiji
Authors:Overton, John
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:1993
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Overton, J. 1993. Farms, Suburbs, or Retirement Homes? The Transformation of Village Fiji. The Contemporary Pacific 5 (1): 45-74.
Abstract:Fijian villages and village life are at the core of Fijian society and culture. Yet there
has been much recent change in villages as a result of greater commercialization
of land, labor, and agriculture. This paper draws on studies of two villages to
demonstrate the range of economic responses being made by villagers and the
consequences for village society. Attempts to encourage commercial farming on
village land have been severely constrained by land shortage and land tenure practices
that limit the size of landholdings. As alternatives, people are leaving to find
wage work elsewhere, whether on a permanent, medium-term, or daily basis.
Others are returning to the villages to retire after a long period of working in
towns. One consequence is a great variety in household incomes and daily work
patterns. In these circumstances, Fijian villages can be seen as retaining their
form, but often not their communal substance; they are just as much low-cost
suburbs and retirement homes as they are centers for old-style subsistence agriculture.
As these economic and social entities become more diverse and complex, so
too must policies designed to improve the lot of their inhabitants.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 1993 - Volume 5, Number 1

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