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MicSem By Category: Cultural

Making Sense of Micronesia
Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Why are islanders so lavishly generous with food and material possessions but so guarded with information? Why do these people, unfailingly polite for the most part, laugh openly when others embarrass themselves? What does a smile mean to an islander? Making Sense of Micronesia is intended for westerners who find themselves in contact with Micronesians—as teachers, social workers, health-care providers, or simply as friends—and are puzzled by their island ways. It is for anyone struggling to make sense of cultural exchanges they don’t quite understand.

Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture
Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 182 pp.2013 Cultural Social Issues

The Cultural Revolution of the 1960s in Micronesia, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The impact of the cash economy on the family and other social institutions in the islands.

Ankulegi: Gizarte Antropologia Aldizkaria-- Revista de Antroplogia, Issue 12, 51-64. 2008 Cultural

A Teacher's Tale, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

An expatriate teacher explains the cultural lessons learned during his long stay in the islands.

September 2009 (MC #78)  Cultural

The Role of Culture in Economic Development , by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The playing field is not level when it comes to economic development, for cultural values and attitudes give some societies a head start.

June 2009 (MC #77)  Cultural   Economics

Cultural Revolution Of The 60's, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

The rapid increase of dollars and jobs in the 1960s led to structural changes whose impacts are still being felt.

September 2008 (MC #73)  Cultural   Family change

Island Politics, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J.

Politics in the islands has been elevated to a new art form, while drifting from the ideal of public service.

May 2007 (MC #67)  Cultural   Government

Caricature of Infinity, by Neil Poulin, SJ

Humorous account of a priest’s adventures on a trip through the Yap outer islands.

September 2005 (MC #57)  Cultural

Cultural Loss: How Real is the Threat?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

If culture is more than material items and outward behavior, perhaps the threat of cultural loss is exaggerated.

July 2005 (MC #56)  Cultural

The Chuuk Problem: At the Foot of the Political Pyramid, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Argument that Chuuk’s political impasse stems from its fragmented traditional authority system.

April 2004 (MC #50)  Cultural   Government

Settling Disputes, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Over-reliance on the courts to settle disputes, even though traditional means are available.

January 2002 (MC #39)  Cultural   Government

Becoming a Professional Victim, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Argues that the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit against Big Tobacco could be more damaging than the cigarettes they smoked.

July 2000 (MC #29)  Cultural   Government

Why Don't Our Government Offices Work?, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Explanation of how cultural values and attitudes obstruct the creation of a government bureaucracy.

May 1998 (MC #22)  Cultural   Government

A Hibiscus In the Wind: The Micronesian Chief and His People, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Chiefs had obligations toward their people as well as the other way around.

December 1997 (MC #20)  Cultural

Land Issues in Chuuk, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Report from a two-day conference on land problems in Chuuk.

October 1994 (MC #16)  Cultural   Land Issues

Changes in Family Structure Leading to Alcoholism, Suicide, and Child Abuse, by Donald H. Rubinstein

Anthropological view of how culture change in the family brings about social problems.

June 1994 (MC #15)  Cultural   Family change   Suicide

Social Isolation, Cultural Competence, and Disability in the Carolines, by Mac Marshall

How physical disability is understood and dealt with in the islands.

January 1994 (MC #13)  Cultural   Health   Social Issues

Spirit Possession in Chuuk: Socio-Cultural Interpretation, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Summary of research done on the ways in which spirit possession is used as a means of dealing with family problems.

July 1993 (MC #11)  Cultural

Culture in Crisis: Trends in the Pacific Today, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Review of problem areas in the Pacific resulting from social change.

May 1993 (MC #10)  Cultural   Social Issues

Effects of Modernization on Three Areas of Island Life, by Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Modernization poses difficult choices for people, especially regarding gender equality, fairness to those outside the family, and balance of concern between the household and the extended family.

September 1991 (MC #04)  Cultural   Social Issues

Freedom of Information: Who Has a Right to What?

Freedom of press can provide important information to the public, but it can also do social damage in a Pacific society.

1995-05-17  Cultural   Justice & Law   Social Issues

Domestic Violence in Micronesia

With the breakdown of social mechanisms that once protected women, new means of protecting them from harm will have to be found.

1994-11-30  Cultural   Government   Social Issues

Where Do Traditional Leaders Fit in Today's Society?

Traditional leaders have a distinct function, but can not easily be absorbed into the modern authority system.

1994-05-12  Cultural   Government

Women's Role in Micronesia: Then and Now

Many of the traditional roles of women have eroded with modernization, raising the question of how adjustments can be made.

1994-03-08  Cultural   Government   Social Issues

Faith, Culture and Democracy in Truk

Discussion of the fit between democracy and traditional authority in Chuuk, and how the church can help mediate.

1988-04-30  Cultural   Government   Religion

Palauan Custom

Changes in many of the most important Palauan customs demand a response today by Palauans.

1986-11-22  Cultural

When Spirits Roamed

Spirits were once everywhere, as this documentary on the traditional religions of the islands shows, but even after the arrival of Christianity they haven’t entirely disappeared.

2012 (60 mins) Island Topics #73   Cultural   Religion

Island Government: Making it Work

The dreams of past island leaders can only be realized if we make good government happen. But how do we deal with the cultural tensions along the way? This video portrays the dream and the obstacles in a lighthearted way.

2005 (46:13 mins) Island Topics #45   Cultural   Government

A Woman's Work Never Ends

Was a married woman's life always so harried? This lighthearted drama looks back to the past to find an answer to this question.

2005 (29:59 mins) Island Topics #44   Cultural   Family change   Social Issues

For the Love of Chuuk: Working Towards the Common Good

Beginning with the village dispensaries, this documentary probes the problem of governing Chuuk. If there are cultural explanations for them, there are also remedies.

2004 (41:34 mins) Island Topics #41   Cultural   Government

Suicide in Micronesia: Finding a Better Way Out

For 40 years the deadly epidemic of suicide has claimed hundreds of young lives. This documentary explores the causes and ways of addressing the suicide problem.

2004 (32:34 mins) Island Topics #40   Cultural   Family change   Suicide

It's My Own Land, Isn't It?

Two short spoofs that make a case for some government regulation of private land--zoning and eminent domain.

2000 (23:15 mins) Island Topics #23   Cultural   Government   Land Issues

Mind Your Own Business

The misadventures of a man who, when laid off from his government position, tries to open a private business with a bank loan.

1999 (35:00 mins) Island Topics #17   Business   Cultural

Take Me to Your Island

An hour-long look at the foreigners who have come to Pohnpei, with their quirks and high hopes.

1998 (62:00 mins) Island Topics #13   Business   Cultural

Reflections on Anger

A look at how Micronesians handle anger and how it sometimes controls them. Reflection on how negative emotions could be dealt with more productively.

1996 (31:00 mins) Island Topics #9   Cultural   Social Issues

Voices of Pohnpei (Part 2)

A history of Pohnpei, but from the inside. Uses legends and archeology to delineate the high points in Pohnpei's past, ending where history usually begins - with the arrival of the Europeans.

1995 (30:00 mins) Island Topics #4   Cultural   History

Voices of Pohnpei (Part I)

A history of Pohnpei, but from the inside. Uses legends and archeology to delineate the high points in Pohnpei's past, ending where history usually begins - with the arrival of the Europeans.

1995 (30:00 mins) Island Topics #3   Cultural   History

Women's Changing Role in micronesia

A look at how the traditional roles of women, once very important, have changed. Special emphasis on Chuuk and Yap outer islands, but with application across Micronesia.

1995 (34:00 mins) Island Topics #2   Cultural   Family change

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