Kakai Tonga 'i Okalani Nu'u Sila: Tongan Generations in Auckland New Zealand
Brown Pulu, T. J. (2007). Kakai Tonga ‘i Okalani Nu’u Sila: Tongan Generations in Auckland New Zealand (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2584
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2584
This thesis is written in the format of a three act play. The author has elected this structure to frame the ethnographic data and analysis because it seemed befitting for telling my own life story alongside the memories of three generations of my matrilateral and patrilateral Tongan family residing in Auckland New Zealand. Thus, actors and scenes play out the thesis storyline in three parts where each act is titled Prologue, Dialogue and Epilogue. The Prologue, part one of this three act play, is three chapters which sets in motion the main actors - the research participants, and the scenes - the ethnographic context in which data was collected. It represents an ethnographic mosaic of memory and meaning as co-constructed by actors in recounting how they make sense of their place, their time, in a transnational history, that is, a family of stories among three Tongan generations residing largely in Auckland New Zealand. The Dialogue, part two of this three act play, is four chapters which maps out the theoretical and ethnographic territory that actors and scenes border-cross to visit. By this, I mean that research participants are political actors subject to social factors which shape how their memories and ensuing meanings are selectively reproduced in certain contexts of retelling the past and its relevance to understanding the present. The Epilogue, part three of this three act play, is the curtain call for the closing chapter. It presents an ending in which a new 'identity' entry made by the youngest Tongan generation creates possibilities for social change not yet experienced by prior generations residing in Auckland New Zealand. This thesis is woven into an overarching argument. Here, three generations of my matrilateral and patrilateral Tongan family residing in Auckland New Zealand intersect through two modes of memory and meaning. First, family reconstruct collective memories of 'identity' and 'culture' to make sense of how their ancestral origin, their historical past, is meaningful in their transnational lives and lifestyles. Second, inter-generational change among Tongan family residing in Auckland New Zealand is a social-political product of the transnational condition experienced by ethnic-cultural groups categorised as 'minorities' in the developed world.
The University of Waikato
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