Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"We flow like water": Contemporary livelihoods and the partitioning of the self among the Chamorro of Guam
by Fanning, Jonathan, M.A., Colorado State University, 2015, 146; 1590564
Abstract (Summary)

The Chamorros of Guam have experienced colonially-influenced change on spatial and temporal scales for nearly four-hundred and fifty years. They are continuously redefining their identity with respect to these changes, and within the power related discourses of colonialism. The adoption of a colonial understanding of "tradition" has alienated Chamorro from their perception of indigenous identity. A difference between a contemporary "livelihood" and a more traditional "way of life" is apparent, also considered to be a conflict between how a Chamorro "must" behave versus how a Chamorro "ought" to behave to maintain an indigenous identity. Lack of agency, the rise of individualism, and the institutionalization of Chamorro culture have compartmentalized Chamorro identity, and forced contemporary Chamorro to abandon that which is "traditional" in order to engage with a modern world.

This thesis explores these phenomena through a mixed-methods lens, employing participant observation, semi-structured, qualitative interviews, and surveys to explore the domains in which Chamorro draw meaning and personal and cultural identity. The village of Umatac, on the southern-end of Guam, is used as a study population, as the issue of identity formation and remaking is explored through the theoretical perspectives of cognitive anthropology, discursive formation, and place attachment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Snodgrass, Jeffrey
Commitee: Gavin, Michael, Magennis, Ann
School: Colorado State University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Chamorro, Discourse, Guam, Identity, Place attachment, Schema
Publication Number: 1590564
ISBN: 978-1-321-80087-6
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