Migrating Genders: Westernisation, Migration, and Samoan Fa'afafine, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Migrating Genders

Westernisation, Migration, and Samoan Fa'afafine, 1st Edition

By Johanna Schmidt


240 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781409402732
pub: 2010-06-16
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315595276
pub: 2016-04-22
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Migrating Genders presents a sustained description of male-to-female transgendered identities, explaining how the fa'afafine fit within the wider gender system of Samoa, and examining both the impact of Westernization on fa'afafine identities and lives, and the experiences of fa'afafine who have migrated to New Zealand. Informed by theories of sex, gender and embodiment, this book explores the manner in which the expression and understanding of non-normative gendered identities in Samoa problematizes dominant western understandings of the relationship between sex and gender. Drawing on rich empirical material, this book tells of both the diversity and the uniqueness of fa'afafine identities, aspects which fa'afafine have maintained in the face of Westernization, migration, and cultural marginalization in both Samoa and New Zealand. As such, in addition to anthropologists, it will be of interest to geographers, sociologists, and other readers with interests in gender and sexuality.


'Migrating Genders offers a sophisticated account of the promises and perils of using "transgender" to frame the encounter between categories of sexuality and genders originating within Eurocentric modernity, and forms of personhood originating elsewhere - a welcome contribution to the burgeoning field of transnational transgender studies.' Susan Stryker, Indiana University, USA 'Migrating Genders is a subtle and insightful analysis of fa’afafine in Samoan society. Drawing upon multisited ethnographic and historical research, Schmidt brings together analyses of tradition and globalization to explore the fa’afafine subjectivity in Samoa,� understood as an island and a community of transnational migration. This book will be valuable to scholars and activists with interests in Pacific Studies, as well as studies of sexuality, migration, and globalization.' Tom Boellstorff, University of California, Irvine, USA

About the Author

Johanna Schmidt is a honorary research fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

About the Series

Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific

This series offers a comprehensive view of Asian and Indo-Pacific anthropology and cultural history. It carries studies from China, Japan, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the entire Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Focusing mainly on detailed ethnographic studies, the series further incorporates pressing thematic work on issues of cross-regional impact, gender and globalization, precarity, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and alternative medical and wellness-seeking practices. The series aims to link anthropological theory with history and religious studies, with discussions of ritual, politics, religious change, and economics. Studies of adaptation and conflict in small-scale situations enmeshed in wider scale processes of transformation form a particular thematic focus. The series aims to reach a core audience of specialists in Asian and Pacific studies, but also to be accessible and valuable to a broader multidisciplinary readership.

If you are interested in proposing a book for the series please contact: strather@pitt.edu / pamjan@pitt.edu

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General