Master of Arts (MA)
Journalism and Media Studies
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
American Samoa as a self-governing U.S. territory located in the South Pacific is fortunate to be able to maintain their cultural traditions, language, and lands in all aspects- including their government. However, when the community suffers from a number of growing issues that affect the health and safety of its citizens, an analysis of the culture and leadership is fitting. I interviewed Jacqueline Tuiasosopo-Mata'u, Dr. Tapa'au Daniel Aga, and Chief Tauaisafune Niualama Taifane to gain insight into American Samoa government history, American Samoa government and community in the present, and to describe cultural practices and traditions that are in place. In critically analyzing the insight gained from these interviews, I discussed the Tā-Vā Theory of Reality and the Samoan concept of “teu le vā,” nurturing relationships, with Dr. Tevita Ka’ili. While American Samoa’s frustration with their government leaders is warranted, I found that the issues stem from the entire American Samoa community’s unspoken understanding of culture and its demonstration. Both leaders and citizens, and in spaces beyond the government, American Samoa values superficial peace and positional power over dealing with the actual issues.
American Samoa; Government; Moana; Pacific; Samoa; Ta-Va
Broadcast and Video Studies | Journalism Studies | Political Science | Sociology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Gaoteote, Dayonara S., "American Samoa Politics: Performing SĀMOA" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4147.
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