Mixing up: Social contact and modernization in a Japanese joint venture in the Solomon Islands

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Journal Article
Critical Asian Studies, 2004, 36 (4), pp. 507 - 540
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Increased interactions between groups of people through modernization may be embraced as mutually enriching or denounced as causing " negative social impacts." This paper is predicated on the assumption that people's perceptions of modernization projects influence their outcomes, because people resist rather than commit to negatively perceived projects. The nature of social contact brought about through modernization is a key factor in perceptions of modernization projects. Three types of social contact in a fishing joint venture between the Solomon Islands government and a Japanese company are explored in this paper: contact between men and women, between ethnic groups within Solomon Islands, and between Solomon Islanders and foreigners. Some of the criteria by which interviewees judged social contact included whether it was peaceful or caused friction, whether it caused cultural change, and whether it was hierarchical. The types of contact are discussed in terms of those criteria to reveal their varied effects on perceptions of modernization. © 2004 BCAS, Inc.
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