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Survivor Vanuatu: Myths of Matriarchy Revisited

Survivor Vanuatu: Myths of Matriarchy Revisited Lamont Lindstrom E ighteen Americans clamber down off a tourist yacht (the Congoola) into a flotilla of small canoes. One or two fall into the water but they are hoisted aboard again and helpful natives paddle everyone toward the beach. As the Americans step ashore in shallow waters, groups of painted, leafy men in grass skirts run toward them yelling and shaking spears. A rather hefty "chief" appears to welcome the group to Vanuatu, or rather to Survivor Vanuatu: Islands of Fire, the ninth edition of Mark Burnett's popular "reality" television series. The reality, here, was Vanuatu--its flora, its fauna, and its people (ni-Vanuatu)--which served as stage and background for another round of competition to be the "final survivor" and win a million US dollars (figure 1). Although broadcast in various countries, the show's principal audience is in the United States and its producers stage and edit "reality" in large part to speak to American cultural themes and social fissions. These include tensions between individual and society, self and family, authority and democracy, loyalty and honor, self-discovery and self-transformation, public service and laziness, and--cutting through all these--the American identity politics of race, class, age, disability, and gender. Commentators http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Survivor Vanuatu: Myths of Matriarchy Revisited

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 19 (1) – Jan 17, 2007

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

Lamont Lindstrom E ighteen Americans clamber down off a tourist yacht (the Congoola) into a flotilla of small canoes. One or two fall into the water but they are hoisted aboard again and helpful natives paddle everyone toward the beach. As the Americans step ashore in shallow waters, groups of painted, leafy men in grass skirts run toward them yelling and shaking spears. A rather hefty "chief" appears to welcome the group to Vanuatu, or rather to Survivor Vanuatu: Islands of Fire, the ninth edition of Mark Burnett's popular "reality" television series. The reality, here, was Vanuatu--its flora, its fauna, and its people (ni-Vanuatu)--which served as stage and background for another round of competition to be the "final survivor" and win a million US dollars (figure 1). Although broadcast in various countries, the show's principal audience is in the United States and its producers stage and edit "reality" in large part to speak to American cultural themes and social fissions. These include tensions between individual and society, self and family, authority and democracy, loyalty and honor, self-discovery and self-transformation, public service and laziness, and--cutting through all these--the American identity politics of race, class, age, disability, and gender. Commentators

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 17, 2007

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