Couples ‘métropolitain' – ‘polynésien' à Tahiti. Enjeux de l'ethnicité, du genre et du statut socioéconomique dans un contexte postcolonial

Abstract : Aiming to elucidate the links between interethnic relations, gender and socioeconomic status in the postcolonial society of Tahiti, French Polynesia, this research focuses on ‘Mainlander' – ‘Polynesian' interethnic couples. Despite discourse on ideal mixing, which interethnic unions have come to exemplify, their discourse shows that the use of categorizations contributes to (re)producing ethnic differences within the family. The categories are situated within hierarchies through oppositions constituted in terms of ‘evolution' or ‘modernity', which imply socioeconomic status. Gender crosscuts these hierarchies. The dual representation of ‘Polynesian' women as vectors of ‘modernity' and submissive (myth of the vahine) or as dominant (myth of the matriarch), depending on the ethnic belonging of her spouse, contributes to maintaining a racist hierarchy. In addition, while the celebration of interethnic couples in which the man is ‘White' is based on the ‘ethnic status' of the latter, portrayed as emancipator of the vahine, couples in which the woman is associated with dominant ‘ethnic status', less frequent to form, testify to stigmatization and disapproval. Interethnic couples are at the crossroads of these power relations, which form interlocking systems of ‘gendered racism' and normative male domination within the couple. The combined consideration of these couples' accounts and representations, as well as statistics concerning the social characteristics of interethnic couples, reveals the mechanisms of the coproduction of social power relations, which intervene in everyday social interactions, including those of the intimate and familial spheres.
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Laura Schuft. Couples ‘métropolitain' – ‘polynésien' à Tahiti. Enjeux de l'ethnicité, du genre et du statut socioéconomique dans un contexte postcolonial. Sociologie. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00537762⟩

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