When Culture Is Not A System: Why Samoan Cultural Brokers Can Not Do Their Job
In independent and American Samoa, Samoan representatives have historically been successful at furthering their communities' interests when dealing with various colonial regimes. Yet during my fieldwork in California, I kept witnessing failed encounters between Samoan migrants and government officials. I argue that government officials helped create these problems through the ways they expected Samoan migrants to act as culture-bearers. I conclude by exploring how cultural mediators become the focal point for tensions generated by the contradictory assumptions government system-carriers and Samoan culture-bearers hold about how to relate to social orders.
Gershon, I. (2006). When Culture Is Not A System: Why Samoan Cultural Brokers Can Not Do Their Job. Ethnos, 71(4), 533–558. https://doi.org/10.1080/00141840601050700