The Stuff of Imagination

What We Can Learn from Fijian Children's Ideas About Their Lives as Adults

in Social Analysis
Author:
Christina TorenUniversity of St Andrews ct51@st-andrews.ac.uk

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Through an analysis of Fijian children's essays about the future, this article explores ideas of sociality, personhood, and the self that are the very stuff of intersubjectivity and thus of the imagination, as this gives rise to the lived social reality that is manifested in people's ideas and practices. The material presented here bears on a single aspect of data derived from 75 essays by Fijian village children aged between 7 and 15 years old, that is, their constitution over time of a spatiotemporal orientation toward a view of generations to come. I use this example of spatiotemporal orientation to show how, seen through the perspective derived from long-term participant observer fieldwork, data such as these enable an ethnographic analysis of meaning-making as a transformational, historical process.

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Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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