Living Kinship in the Pacific | BERGHAHN BOOKS
Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Living Kinship in the Pacific

View Table of Contents

Volume 4

Pacific Perspectives: Studies of the European Society for Oceanists

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Living Kinship in the Pacific

Edited by Christina Toren and Simonne Pauwels

274 pages, 17 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-577-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (April 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78533-520-4 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (April 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-578-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Living Kinship in the Pacific is a collection of high-quality research articles whose foci coincide to a remarkable degree… [It] will be of lasting value to scholars of the region for years to come—because knowledge of kinship will be knowledge that counts for a long time to come.” • The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology (TAPJA)

“As an edited work, comprised of thoughtful, detailed, erudite research essays largely by anthropologists and linguists, Living Kinship is a work for specialists. Many of the essays are highly technical, dealing with semantic features of kinship terminology, linguistic descriptors, generational differentiators, and spatial arrangements for ceremonial recognition of familial relations. At the same time, it does have an engagingly comprehensive thesis about the complexities of kinship ties and a number of important implications for broader Pacific scholarship.” • Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies


“Altogether, this collection goes a long way to meeting the volume’s main objectives. The volume provides ethnographically-grounded overviews of the various ways kinship in these locales continues to serve as vital ‘knowledge that counts.’ … the volume will be a valuable resource for Pacific Islands scholars who will also have to consider the ways that kinship matters in their field sites as a central dimension of everyday life. The volume also provides useful resources for teaching contemporary Pacific kinship in the Pacific.” • Anthropos

“…there are excellent accounts of culturally specific renderings of biological relatedness across the cultures described here… Overall, we are offered ethnographically rich insights into contemporary kinship as grounded in longstanding traditions and persisting in the face of tremendous forces of change.” • Anthropology Book Forum

Living Kinship in the Pacific successfully makes the case for the power of kinship in contemporary Pacific societies and hopefully encourages anthropologists to take it seriously and search for its function for peoples all around the world.” • Anthropology Review Database

“Studying kinship is like vitamins for anthropologists: it’s always beneficial and we don’t get enough. This book provides strong and useful accounts of contemporary understandings of kinship in the Pacific.” • Matt Tomlinson, Australian National University

“A timely and worthwhile book. The introduction is compelling and contemporary, and the chapters in the main are very well written, clear, interesting, and suggestive... [the] enlightening discussion of ritual and learning in childhood, and what that implies for how people come to ‘know’ about kin… and about the significance and meaning of [kinship] practices, is excellent.” • James Leach, Researcher CNRS, CREDO


Unaisi Nabobo-Baba observed that for the various peoples of the Pacific, kinship is generally understood as “knowledge that counts.” It is with this observation that this volume begins, and it continues with a straightforward objective to provide case studies of Pacific kinship. In doing so, contributors share an understanding of kinship as a lived and living dimension of contemporary human lives, in an area where deep historical links provide for close and useful comparison. The ethnographic focus is on transformation and continuity over time in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa with the addition of three instructive cases from Tokelau, Papua New Guinea, and Taiwan. The book ends with an account of how kinship is constituted in day-to-day ritual and ritualized behavior.

Christina Toren is Professor of Anthropology and founding Director of the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of St Andrews. Her works include Mind, Materiality and History (1999) and The Challenge of Epistemology (co-edited with João de Pina-Cabral, 2012).

Simonne Pauwels is a Researcher at CNRS and the adjunct Director of CREDO. Before working in Fiji, she conducted research in Eastern Indonesia for many years and, besides a number of articles, has written Metanleru, un voilier prédateur: Renommée et fertilité dans l'île de Selaru (2009) and D'un nom à l'autre en Asie du Sud-Est, Approches ethnologiques (co-edited with Josiane Massard-Vincent, 1999).

Subject: Anthropology (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Living Kinship in the Pacific for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.