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Music performance and the negotiation of identity in eastern Viti Levu, Fiji [microform]
Bib ID 3287518
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
Lee, Dorothy Sara
Description 261 p. 

This dissertation concerns the interaction of social and musical structures in Naloto, a Fijian fishing village. Naloto society is strongly hierarchical, and the corresponding emphasis on rank and social position effects behavior in all social contexts, including music. For Fijians, music performance represents a formal recognition and enactment of the social structural dynamics of their culture. This study examines three aspects of this interaction: elements of performance practice which serve to reinforce the basic structure and yet allow individual variations within that structure to take place; the relationship between an individual's roles in music performance and in the social hierarchy; and the processes by which some roles are redefined over time and at each music performance, reflecting the changing function of music in contemporary Fijian society.

Most individuals who participate in performance events do not consider themselves musical specialists, but rather farmers, fishermen, or homemakers who sing, dance, or drum. However, the dau ni vucu, a trance-composition specialist who provides and rehearses the music and dance for a performance event, is designated a musical specialist. His position in contemporary Naloto society is ambiguous, due partially to a symbiotic relationship with the supernatural which a necessary part of the role, and partially to the transformation of personal identity which occurs in music performance. Underlying this analysis of Fijian social structure and music performance is a theoretical framework which recognizes prestige as both a function of the enactment of certain roles in performance and everyday life, and as an element that should be considered independently.

The framework therefore separates individual identity into three analytical components: rank or structural identity--an individual's fixed, ascribed, and hierarchical position in the social world; role or functional identity--an individual's ascribed and/or achieved responsibility in each situation, which contains an understanding of the processes by which that individual carries out the role; and status or consociational identity, which incorporates the term "prestige," but isolates that element for analysis.



Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 45-05, Section: A, page: 1488.

Thesis (Ph.D.)--Indiana University, 1984.

Reproduction Microfiche. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International. 
Subjects Folklore.
Other authors/contributors Indiana University


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