The linguistic anthropology of Oceania has seen vigorous and productive analysis of language ideologies, ritual performance, personhood, and agency. This article points to three related paths of inquiry that are especially promising. First, language ideologies are analyzed for the ways they shape expectations and interpretations of effective action and social identity. Second, processes of entextualization are examined with reference to Bible translation because Christianity is a dominant social force in contemporary Oceania. Third, prominent recent work on per-sonhood and agency is reviewed, and scholars are urged to reconsider the classic Oceanic term mana in relation to changing understandings of power, including those wrought by religious transformations. These paths of inquiry are intertwined and cross-cutting and can lead to productive new understandings of ideologies and practices of stability and transformation.
|Annual Review of Anthropology
|Published - 2009