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SWK 337: Diversity Issues in Social Work Practice: Samoa

research paper

EBSCO Ebooks - Samoa AND Social Conditions

No Family Is an Island : Cultural Expertise Among Samoans in Diaspora

Authors:
Gershon, Ilana
Publication Information:
In Expertise. Ithaca : Cornell University Press. 2012
Resource Type:
eBook.
Description:
Government bureaucracies across the globe have become increasingly attuned in recent years to cultural diversity within their populations. Using culture as a category to process people and dispense services, however, can create its own problems and unintended consequences. In No Family Is an Island, a comparative ethnography of Samoan migrants living in the United States and New Zealand, Ilana Gershon investigates how and when the categories'cultural'and'acultural'become relevant for Samoans as they encounter cultural differences in churches, ritual exchanges, welfare offices, and community-based organizations.In both New Zealand and the United States, Samoan migrants are minor minorities in an ethnic constellation dominated by other minority groups. As a result, they often find themselves in contexts where the challenge is not to establish the terms of the debate but to rewrite them. To navigate complicated and often unyielding bureaucracies, they must become skilled in what Gershon calls'reflexive engagement'with the multiple social orders they inhabit. Those who are successful are able to parlay their own cultural expertise (their'Samoanness') into an ability to subtly alter the institutions with which they interact in their everyday lives. Just as the'cultural'is sometimes constrained by the forces exerted by acultural institutions, so too can migrant culture reshape the bureaucracies of their new countries. Theoretically sophisticated yet highly readable, No Family Is an Island contributes significantly to our understanding of the modern immigrant experience of making homes abroad.
Subjects:
Samoan Americans--California--Social conditions
Samoans--New Zealand--Social conditions
Categories:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Cultural Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration

EBSCO Ebooks - Samoa AND Bibliography

 

Samoa : American Samoa, Western Samoa, Samoans Abroad
Authors:
Hughes, H. G. A.
Publication Information:
In World Bibliographical Series. Oxford, England : ABC-CLIO. 1997
Resource Type:
eBook.
Description:
Includes indexes.
Categories:
REFERENCE / Bibliographies & Indexes