Changes in Decision-Making in a Displaced Micronesian Community: Bikini

"In 1957, after a decade of studying the changing culture of the ex- Bikini Marshallese, I predicted the democratization of their traditional authority patterns and the fractionation of matrilineal groupings whoae corporate holdings of land on Bikini had validated the exercise of power in management of community affairs. 1 also detected at that time certain trends in education, agricultural production, mission activity, end outmarriage which appeared likely to support such changes in the power structure on Kili Island, the residence then and now of this displaced community. This past summer, six years later. I was quite unprepared to discover that although living standards have improved markedly and although a notable broadening of world view has been achieved, the power structure in actual operation reflects spectacularly those authoritarian, lineage-based traditions formerly operative on Bikini. The main purpose of this paper will be to suggest in a tentative analysis of my 1963 field data some explanation for the unexpected development. Particular attention will be paid to the process by which decisions affecting the whole community are reached." (Quoted from introduction.)

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