Reassessing Revitalization Movements: Perspectives from North America and the Pacific Islands

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Reassessing Revitalization Movements is the first book to discuss and compare in detail the origins, structure, and development of religious and political revitalization movements in North America and the Pacific Islands known as Oceania. The essays cover the twentieth-century Cargo Cults of the South Pacific, the and Ghost Dance movements in western North America, the Tuka Movement on Fiji in , as well as the revitalistic aspects of contemporary social movements in North American and Oceania.

Reassessing Revitalization Movements

Author Bio Michael E. Harkin is a professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming. Harkin, and Sergei Kan. Should you find yourself in Occitania this summer, you might wonder why some villages have bilingual signs at the entrance. Your surprise would be forgiven, since you are unlikely to have heard anything but French in most places, and likely a lot of English as you approach the Mediterranean. But if you listen more closely, observe more closely, you might come across a world that is fast vanishing, but that is still present.

Cultural Revitalization & Resistance

This sort of experience might happen to you in Provence, but not only. Across the European Union, several million people speak a language that is not the official language of the state they live in. This struggle for language rights also extends to Latin America, North America, Australia, and many other places.

Perspectives from North America and the Pacific Islands

This, many scholars assert, is a consequence of globalization—a backlash against uniformity if you like. A way of being oneself, of finding meaning locally in a world that seems to be getting smaller.

Beyond the Numbers

Those movements are not a reaction to globalization—they are, on the contrary, a way of taking part in this process, on the very terms defined by those who define what globalization is and not on their own terms, as Leena Huss [, ] asserts. This book focuses on Occitania, and more specifically on Provence, home to what is perhaps the earliest language reclamation movement, or at least one of the earliest.

This is perhaps a consequence of an increasingly aggressive move to promote French in all administrative domains at the expense of Latin and Occitan, which had been in use for official usage for centuries in what is now Southern France. And indeed, Mistral published a series of long, epic poems that were hailed across Europe as monuments of literature.

I recount parts of the history of the movement in the book but for this article, suffice it to say that while successful on a literary level, it never succeeded in political terms.


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Instead, following a 2-year ethnographic study in Provence, I ask why the movement was based on language at all, like so many others afterwards—but, crucially, none before, or at least none before the s. What struck me as I started the work on the Ph. It may worms up to people before you had it.

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Pacific Island: Geography and Cultural Traditions

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