Accepted Paper:

Deterritorialized funeral fund-raising as subaltern public sphere activities; a case of FSM migrants in Guam  


Yasuyuki Karakita (Utsunomiya University)

Paper short abstract:

Deterritorialized funeral fund-raising activities for migrants, who passed away in their destination, will be depicted as the emergence of a subaltern public sphere, which connects the migrants and home, outer islands of Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia.

Paper long abstract:

This paper reports the emergence of a deterritorialized subaltern public

sphere, which connects migrants in destination and home, outer islands of

Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia. Since the Compact of Free

Association between U.S. and FSM in 1986, migrants fluxed into U.S. The

U.S. government agency warned the impact of the migration in the areas of

labor market, education and health, and asked for remedial measures against

the migration. Countering these moves, some local agencies and NGO's

emphasized the economic and cultural contributions by migrants to the host

society. These are major fronts of argument about migrants in Guam.

However, in this public arena, not so much attention is paid to activities

of migrants themselves. The detailed ethnography reveals that fund-raising

activities for trans-local funerals of migrants, who passed away in

destination, are one of the main activities of migrant associations. Large

amounts of money, which exceed annual per capita income at home, are raised

through an elaborated network of relatives and island mates, and successive

funeral ceremonies accompany a movement of deceased migrant toward home.

These activities are not noticed in host societies.

It will be argued that a deterritorialized public sphere is emerging,

connecting migrants and home through the attention people pay to each

other's body and life, while stereo-typical understandings and talks about

migrants hide the existence of subaltern public sphere of migrants from FSM.

Panel MMM31
The causes and diversity of migration processes (IUAES Commission on Migration and Diaspora)