Thousands of studies have been conducted by social scientists in the villages and islands, and increasingly in the towns, of the Pacific. Despite this, there are few longitudinal studies of any great depth and sophistication in the region.
The contributors to this book have all conducted long-term research in the islands of the Pacific. During their visits and revisits they have witnessed first-hand the many changes that have occurred in their fieldsites as well as observing elements of continuity. They bring to their accounts a sense of their surprise at some of the unexpected elements of stability and of transformation. The authors take a range of disciplinary approaches, particularly geography and anthropology, and their contributions reflect their deep knowledge of Pacific places, some first visited more than 40 years ago. Many of the chapters focus on aspects of socio-economic change and continuity, while others focus on specific issues such as the impact of both internal and international migration, political and cultural change, technological innovation and the experiences of children and youth. By focusing on both change and continuity this collection of 11 case studies shows the complex relationships between Pacific societies and processes of ‘modernity’ and globalisation. By using a long-term lens on particular places, the authors are able to draw out the subtleties of change and its impacts, while also paying attention to what, in the contemporary Pacific, has been left remarkably unchanged.
Filling a gap in the studies of the Pacific region, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience in the fields of anthropology, development, geography, and Asia-Pacific studies.