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Cities of Parts, Cities Apart? Changing Places in Modern Melanesia

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Title:Cities of Parts, Cities Apart? Changing Places in Modern Melanesia
Authors:Connell, John
Lea, John
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:1994
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Connell, J., and J. Lea. 1994. Cities of Parts, Cities Apart? Changing Places in Modern Melanesia. The Contemporary Pacific 6 (2): 267-309.
Abstract:Melanesian urbanization is primarily postcolonial, occurring after colonial restrictions
on migration and city growth. Recency, impermanence, discontinuity,
and differences between places and cultures characterize city life. Culture influences
socioeconomic organization; gangs rather than unions cut across social ties,
insecurity strengthens identity, and the growing squatter settlements refine and
define ethnic distinctiveness. Ideology reinforces rural ties. Security concerns have
introduced new divisions. Modern dress, lifestyles, and language have shaped
new identities, yet tribal and regional affiliations are more important than
national identity. Melanesian cities are intricately subdivided places where ethnicity
and cultural identity triumph over class. They are a peripheral part of the
world capitalist economy where modernity challenges tradition and local resistance.
Fragmented planning systems, weak or missing municipal governments,
and inadequate finance have led to breakdowns in urban service delivery, mismanagement,
diversity, and spontaneity. Melanesian urbanism emphasizes historical
specificity, plurality, difference, and incoherence.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 1994 - Volume 6, Number 2

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