9780534613266

Bravo for the Marshallese Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780534613266

  • ISBN10:

    0534613268

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/22/2003
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Summary

This case study describes the role an applied anthropologist takes to help Marshallese communities understand the impact of radiation exposure on the environment and themselves, and addresses problems stemming from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program conducted in the Marshall Islands from 1946-1958. The author demonstrates how the U.S. Government limits its responsibilities for dealing with the problems it created in the Marshall Islands. Through archival, life history, and ethnographic research, the author constructs a compelling history of the testing program from a Marshallese perspective. For more than five decades, the Marshallese have experienced the effects of the weapons testing program on their health and their environment. This book amplifies the voice of the Marshallese who share their knowledge about illnesses, premature deaths, and exile from their homelands. The author uses linguistic analysis to show how the Marshallese developed a unique radiation language to discuss problems related to their radiation exposure ? problems that never existed before the testing program. Drawing on her own experiences working with the Government of the Marshall Islands, the author emphasizes the role of an applied anthropologist in influencing policy, and empowering community leaders to seek meaningful remedies.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Preface xiii
Introduction 1(3)
Chapter 1 Setting the Stage: Geography, Social/Political Organization, and the Language of the Marshall Islands 4(11)
Location and Ecology
4(5)
Early Migration
9(1)
Social and Political Structure
9(2)
The Marshallese Language and Its Dialects
11(4)
Chapter 2 A Colonial History of the Marshall Islands 15(18)
Colonial Expansion
15(2)
U.S. Naval Administration of the Marshall Islands
17(7)
The Arrival of Anthropologists
24(5)
Move toward Self-Governance
29(1)
Compact of Free Association
29(4)
Chapter 3 The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Program 33(17)
The Official U.S. Government Account of the Events
33(2)
Limitations in U.S. Government Responsibility
35(3)
Recently Declassified U.S. Government Documents
38(11)
Conclusion
49(1)
Chapter 4 Ethnography and a Marshallese Narrative of History 50(10)
Witness Testimonies: March 1, 1954 The Day the U.S. Government Detonated the Bravo Shot
51(2)
Witness Testimonies: Evacuation and the Decontamination Process
53(1)
Witness Testimonies: Birth Defects
53(2)
Witness Testimonies: Other Medical and Environmental Problems
55(1)
Witness Testimonies: Interactions with U.S. Government Medical Providers and Scientists
56(1)
A Marshallese Narrative of History
57(2)
Conclusion
59(1)
Chapter 5 Alienation from the Land: The Rongelap Experience 60(19)
Importance of Geography
60(1)
Importance of Land
61(3)
Damage, Injury, and Loss
64(1)
Movements of the Community
64(1)
Human Environmental Interactions
64(3)
Experiences in Exile
67(1)
Loss of Self-sufficiency
68(2)
Burial
70(2)
Stigma/Psychological Problems
72(2)
Social Consequences of Loss of Land
74(4)
Conclusion
78(1)
Chapter 6 Language and the Testing Program 79(18)
Radiation and a Colonial Language of Control
80(2)
Language as Resistance
82(14)
Conclusion
96(1)
Chapter 7 Uncovering Themes in Linguistic Data 97(18)
Assigning Responsibility
98(4)
Powerlessness
102(3)
Women's Reproductive Illnesses
105(6)
A Unique Marshallese Radiation Language
111(3)
Conclusion
114(1)
Chapter 8 Changed Circumstances: A Petition to the U.S. Congress 115(6)
Advisory Committee on Changed Circumstances
117(1)
Content of the Petition
117(2)
Review of the Petition
119(1)
Conclusion
120(1)
Chapter 9 Other Case Studies 121(19)
Hiroshima/Nagasaki
121(3)
French Polynesia
124(3)
Chernobyl
127(3)
Nevada
130(2)
Hanford
132(4)
Subjects of Human Radiation Experimentation
136(2)
Conclusion
138(2)
Chapter 10 Methodology and Community Empowerment 140(13)
Developing Bonds of Trust
140(1)
Learning the Language
141(1)
Archival Research
141(1)
Access to Information
141(1)
Building on the Work of Others
141(1)
Life Story and Oral History Collection
142(1)
Local Counterparts and Key Informants
143(1)
Public Education and Training of Students
143(2)
Transcription and Translation
145(1)
Observation
146(1)
Expect to Be Challenged
147(1)
Fieldnotes
148(1)
Repeat Visits to the Field
148(1)
The Policy Realm
148(1)
Methods of the NCT Project
149(2)
Conclusion
151(2)
Chapter 11 A Broader Understanding of the Consequences of the Testing Program 153(6)
Flaws in the U.S. Government's Accounting of History
154(2)
A New Narrative of History
156(2)
Looking toward the Future
158(1)
Bibliography 159(6)
Appendix Categories for Personal Injury Awards, Nuclear Claims Tribunal 165(2)
Glossary 167(1)
Credits 168(1)
Index 169

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