Continuity and Constraint: Reconstructing the Concept of Tradition from a Pacific Perspective

Date
1997
Authors
Turner, James West
Contributor
Advisor
Department
Instructor
Depositor
Speaker
Researcher
Consultant
Interviewer
Annotator
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Volume
Number/Issue
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Abstract
In the postmodern world, tradition and identity are supplanting modernist political ideologies in the discourse about conflict. Historians and anthropologists who write about tradition necessarily enter the political arena within which the content and meaning of tradition are contested. In the 1980s, social scientists became sensitive to this issue. During that decade the most important contributions to the study of tradition focused on the issue of invention, the fashioning of representations of the past to meet the needs of the present. The invention-of-tradition literature made a useful contribution by linking tradition to such issues as the reproduction of social forms, the interaction of culture and history to produce change, and the role of human agency in both of these processes. Ultimately, however, the emphasis on the malleability of tradition negates what is ostensively affirmed in this literature—that a people’s traditions are a product of their historically situated action. Too little attention is paid to the ways in which interpretations of the past are constrained (and explained) by a determinate past and to the threads of continuity that link the present to that past. In part, the continuity that characterizes tradition is a consequence of the fact that traditions are enacted or embodied. These issues are explored, in part, through a discussion of the Fiji coups and their aftermath.
Description
Keywords
Fiji coups, postmodernism, praxis, tradition, Oceania -- Periodicals.
Citation
Turner, J. W. 1997. Continuity and Constraint: Reconstructing the Concept of Tradition from a Pacific Perspective. The Contemporary Pacific 9 (2): 345-81.
Extent
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Table of Contents
Rights
Rights Holder
Local Contexts
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.