Migration and Transnationalism

Migration and Transnationalism

Pacific Perspectives

Edited by: Helen Lee orcid, Steve Tupai Francis

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Pacific Islanders have engaged in transnational practices since their first settlement of the many islands in the region. As they moved beyond the Pacific and settled in nations such as New Zealand, the U.S. and Australia these practices intensified and over time have profoundly shaped both home and diasporic communities. This edited volume begins with a detailed account of this history and the key issues in Pacific migration and transnationalism today. The papers that follow present a range of case studies that maintain this focus on both historical and contemporary perspectives. Each of the contributors goes beyond a narrowly economic focus to present the human face of migration and transnationalism; exploring questions of cultural values and identity, transformations in kinship, intergenerational change and the impact on home communities.

Pacific migration and transnationalism are addressed in this volume in the context of increasing globalisation and growing concerns about the future social, political and economic security of the Pacific region. As the case studies presented here show, the future of the Pacific depends in many ways on the ties diasporic Islanders maintain with their homelands.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Aug 2009
ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Anthropology, Politics & International Studies
Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, Tokelau, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa

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  1. Pacific Migration and Transnationalism: Historical Perspectives (PDF, 208KB)Helen Lee doi
  2. Forms of Transnationalism, Forms of Tradition: Cloth and Cash as Ritual Exchange Valuables in the Tongan Diaspora (PDF, 183KB)Ping-Ann Addo doi
  3. Samoan Transnationalism: Cultivating ‘Home’ and ‘Reach’ (PDF, 170KB)Sa’iliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor doi
  4. Kinship and Transnationalism (PDF, 167KB)Cluny Macpherson and La’avasa Macpherson doi
  5. Travelling Parties: Cook Islanders’ Transnational Movement (PDF, 162KB)Kalissa Alexeyeff doi
  6. Food and Transnationalism: Reassertions of Pacific Identity (PDF, 129KB)Nancy Pollock doi
  7. Attitudinal Divergence and the Tongan Transnational System (PDF, 459KB)Mike Evans, Paul Harms and Colin Reid doi
  8. Griffith’s Transnational Fijians: Between the Devil, the Deep Blue Sea… and their Pastors (PDF, 121KB)Mark Schubert doi
  9. Transnationalism of Merchant Seafarers and their Communities in Kiribati and Tuvalu (PDF, 136KB)Maria Borovnik doi
  10. ‘I Never Wanted to Come Home’: Skilled Health Workers in the South Pacific (PDF, 160KB)John Connell doi
  11. The Impact of Transnationalism on Niue (PDF, 127KB)Vili Nosa doi
  12. ‘Getting Out from Under’: Leadership, Conflict Resolution and Tokelau Migration (PDF, 130KB)Ingjerd Hoëm doi
  13. The View from ‘Home’— Transnational Movements from Three Tongan Villages (PDF, 174KB)Steve Tupai Francis doi


In her review of Migration and Transnationalism, Dr Frances Steel writes that: “In the thirteen chapters of this edited volume, Pacific transnationalism and its consequences are illuminated through individual accounts of almost all island cultures in the region known as Polynesia. The book clusters regional accounts of Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tokelau, Kiribati, and Tuvalu into collective representations, thereby establishing the particularities and commonalities of Pacific transnationalism. Together the assorted case studies and the diverse interdisciplinary background of the authors—ranging from Anthropology, Sociology, and Human Geography, to Health Studies— opens this book to a broad readership.” (p.149). Further, Steel writes: “the book is not limited to an audience of Tongan or Pacific scholars. Its carefully chosen contributions interlink different aspects of transnationalism, such as the study of movement, homeland, cultural changes and generational differences to a variety of thematic contexts, making it of relevance to a broad audience.” (p.150)

(Steel, Frances. “Unraveling Pacific Transnationalism.” Review of Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives, edited by Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis. Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, Volume 3 Issue 2, Summer 2013.)

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