Creating self and other : discourses of inclusion and exclusion on Mayotte / Iain Walker
VerfasserWalker, Iain
KörperschaftMax-Planck-Institut für Ethnologische Forschung
ErschienenHalle/Saale : Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, 2023
Umfang1 Online-Ressource (21 Seiten, 0,26 MB)
Literaturverzeichnis: Seite 19-21
SerieWorking papers ; no. 212
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Creating self and other [0.26 mb]
This text analyses the different expressions of identity the practices of identification and the conflicts that emerge from this among the people of Mayotte one of the four islands of the Comoro archipelago. Formerly a French colony in 1975 Mayotte opted to remain a part of France while the remaining three islands became an independent state. Mayotte is beset by a number of ills: overpopulation poverty and underfunded health education and social services. Blame is laid at the feet of the significant population of irregular migrants from the neighbouring islands who are attracted by wages and social services that are better than in the Union of Comoros (albeit still low and underfunded). Underlying these economic problems however is a fundamental question of identity as the Maorais the people of Mayotte attempt to define themselves politically (and often by implication socially) as French rather than Comorian part of an ongoing process of rejection of any possibility of political and economic domination by the other islands of the group. These different expressions of identity give rise to conflicts that are vented in regular episodes of anti-immigrant violence and a pervasive discourse of Maorais difference. However in other contexts Maorais may claim to be Comorian rather than or in addition to French and the inconsistencies in claims to and practices of identity are a regular feature of island life. Drawing on the concept of the persona Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory and the associated concept of capital this paper argues that the Maorais perform different identities in different fields a strategy that allows them to mitigate if not avoid entirely the conflicts that arise in attempting to be at once French and Comorian.