Differences Between Micronesian and Western Values

Living reference work entry


One of the remarkable aspects of the dramatized radio feature, An Adventure Far From Home, is the willingness of the young Micronesian producers to engage in sociological generalizations. I found it simple enough to check the validity of these with a suitably wide range of informed people from Micronesia. (In the course of this study’s fieldwork, all points of cultural difference raised in the dramatized radio feature program An Adventure Far From Home were used as points of reference and checked with a cross section of Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosraean, Marshallese, and Palauan interviewees, as well as with relevant ethnographic material. All points raised by the program-makers were regarded as valid by all Micronesian interviewees.) Micronesians might be reluctant to explain aspects of their culture, but I’ve noticed on most occasions that they’re quick to clear up mistakes or to verify the truth. So the investigator is spared the sort of soul-searching that’s typified by David Nevin’s apologetic recourse to a generalized account of aspects of Micronesian society.


  1. Alkire WH (1972) An introduction to the peoples and cultures of Micronesia. Addison-Wesley Modular Publications, Reading. Module 18Google Scholar
  2. An Adventure Far From Home (radio play script) (1986) The Student Program Committee of the Micronesian Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashby GA (1987) Guide to Pohnpei: an Island argosy. Rainy Day Press, EugeneGoogle Scholar
  4. Caughey JL (1977) Fa’a’nakkar: cultural values in a Micronesian society, vol 2. University of Pennsylvania Publications in Anthropology, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  5. Fischer JL (1974) The role of the traditional chiefs on Ponape in the American period. In: Hughes DT, Lingenfelter SG (eds) Political development in Micronesia. Ohio State University Press, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  6. Geertz C (1973) The interpretation of cultures. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Hanlon DL (1982) Understanding our misunderstanding of Micronesians. The Micronesian Seminar, Chuuk, JanuaryGoogle Scholar
  8. Hezel FX (1987) The dilemmas of development: the effects of modernization on three areas of Island life. J Pacific SocGoogle Scholar
  9. Hezel FX (1995) Strangers in their own land: a century of colonial rule in the caroline and Marshall Islands. University of Hawaii Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  10. Hezel FX (2001) The new shape of old Island cultures. University of Hawaii Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  11. Hezel FX (2003) Chuuk: caricature of an Island.
  12. Hezel FX (2006) Is that the best you can do? A tale of two Micronesian economies. The Micronesian Seminar.
  13. Hogan T (1988) Micronesia and the West: major socio-cultural differences and their implications for broadcast training and development. PACBROAD, SuvaGoogle Scholar
  14. Kanarakis G (1983) Bilingualism and language learning, Monograph series. Mitchell College, BathurstGoogle Scholar
  15. Lingenfelter SG (1975) Yap: political leadership and culture in an Island society. The University Press of Hawaii, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  16. Mason L (1968) The ethnology of Micronesia. In: Vayda AP (ed) Peoples and cultures of the Pacific. The Natural History Press, Garden CityGoogle Scholar
  17. McGarry WF SJ (1982) West From Katau. The Micronesia-Pacific Collection, Community College of Micronesia, KoloniaGoogle Scholar
  18. McHenry DF (1975) Micronesia: trust betrayed. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. Micronesia and Australian Foreign Policy (1987) Proceedings of a symposium held at the Australian National University, Canberra, October, 1987. The Australian Development Studies Network, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  20. Nevin D (1977) The American touch in Micronesia. W.W. Norton & Company Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Pacific Courts and Justice. No. vii (1977) Cited by Hughes DT, Laughlin SK (1982) Key elements in the evolving political culture of the Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific Studies, The Institute for Polynesian Studies, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  22. Petersen G (1985) A cultural analysis of the Ponapean independence vote in the 1983 plebiscite. Pacific Studies 9(1):13Google Scholar
  23. Sahlins M (1976) Culture and practical reason. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  24. Smith AH (1956) Attitudes and relationships. Micronesian Monthly. IV(1). Trust Territory Headquarters. Agana, January–FebruaryGoogle Scholar
  25. Solomon AM (Chairman) (1963) A report by the US Government Survey Mission to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. 9 Oct 1963Google Scholar
  26. The Micronesia Seminar.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations