Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Benjamin Burroughs

Second Committee Member

David Nourse

Third Committee Member

Linda Dam

Fourth Committee Member

Michael Borer

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

File Format


File Size

497 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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