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close this section of the library Cocom, Rolando Alonzo

View the PDF document An inquiry on racial, ethnic and national identity among 'mixed race' persons of Indian and Fijian descent
Author:Cocom, Rolando Alonzo
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Fijians -- Race identity, Fijians -- Ethnic identity
Date: 2015
Call No.: Pac DU 600 .C63 2015
BRN: 1204087
Copyright:60-80% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This explorative research provides an interpretive understanding of racial, ethnic, and national identity among ‘mixed race’ persons of Indian and Fijian descent in Suva, Fiji. This study was motivated by three research questions: (1) How do ‘mixed race’ Indian- Fijians identify themselves with an ethnic label or labels? (2) How do they identify with the term ‘Fijian’, given its recent institutionalization as a national identity construct? and (3) What do such experiences and views tell us about the racialization and politicization of identity in Fiji? Answers to these questions were interpreted from information generated during multiple individual and group interviews with ten ‘mixed race’ participants in Suva, who were accessed through the snowballing sampling method. The study contributes to the discourse of identity in Fiji by presenting for the first time the experiences and opinions of being a ‘mixed race’ Indian-Fijian in a social context where political events and social structures have demarcated a set of dichotomized ingroup and out-group relations and practices. It also contributes to the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) and to contemporary political debates in light of the underrepresentation of literature from the South Pacific region; the limited literature on ‘mixed race’ in Fiji; and the recent state policy to classify all citizens with the term ‘Fijian’. Based on the interviews conducted, this research demonstrates how the participants reinforced, resisted, and accommodated the social structures and discursive practices of identity in Fiji.
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