Indentured Identities

Resistance and accommodation in plantation-era Fiji

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The book explores the historical dimension of Indian indenture from within the lived experience of laborers, who emigrated to Fiji from colonial India a century ago. As these laborers are no longer alive, one could argue that the experience of indenture is no longer accessible, if there had not been recordings of the laborers’ life narratives. It is seven of these audio recordings, made for public broadcast, which form the data for a fine-grained language-analysis<a name=_GoBack></a> to unearth the life-world of indenture. Through the merging of Labov’s high-point analysis with Bamberg’s positioning analysis, the book focuses on the situated discursive performativity of identities, and draws attention to the complex and at times conflicting positions within the life narratives. Sorting through those positions resulted in the ultimate challenge to the essentially homogenizing current master narrative discourse on who can be classified as an indentured laborer, and what signifies as an indenture experience.

Subjects: Discourse studies; Contact Linguistics; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology

  • Affiliations: 1: International Pacific College

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