Lee, Helen Morton, 1960-. Becoming Tongan: an ethnography of childhood

Table of Contents

Publication Information


Chapter 1 The Ethnography Of Childhood


Chapter 2 The Kingdom Of Tonga

Tradition And Identity

Social Hierarchy

Social Organization

Household Composition

Pita And Manu

Seini And Siale

The Households Compared

Village Life

Daily Life In Holonga


Health And Nutrition

Chapter 3 Having Children: “paradise On Earth”


Pregnancy: “preparing The Child”


Attitudes To Reproduction


Reproductive Control


Adoption And Fosterage

The Care Of Infants

Differential Treatment Of Children

The First Birthday

Chapter 4 Becoming Poto: What To Learn

Children As Persons


“love”: □ofa

Respect: Faka□apa□apa

Obedience: Talangofua

Freedom/independence: Tau□atāina

Gender Differences



Untitled Section: ...

Chapter 5 Children's Everyday Lives: Socialization In Context



Maternal Kin


Father's Sisters


Same-sex Siblings

Brothers And Sisters




Chapter 6 Learning To Be Poto


Observation And Imitation

Language Socialization

Chapter 7 Sanctioned Violence: Punishment And Aggression In Tonga

Punishment In Precontact Tonga

Punishment Of Children Historically

“they Punish Me With Their Love”: Contemporary Tonga

Infancy: Threatening And Smacking

Childhood: Punishment's Role In Socialization

The Question Of “abuse”

Wider Contexts Of Violence

Chapter 8 The Socialization Of Emotion

Monitoring Emotion

The Management Of Anger


Anger And Humor

Humor As Social Control

Expressing Strong Emotion


Religious Experience


Self And Other


Chapter 9 Becoming Tongan: The Future

Political Change In Tonga

Ideal Personhood

Children And The Loss Of Culture

Remaining Tongan: The Future

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Becoming Tongan: an ethnography of childhood

Published By: Original publisher Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. 1996. ix, 343 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Helen Morton

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2006. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Tongans (OU09)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Drives and emotions (152); Social personality (156); Personality traits (157); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Sociocultural trends (178); Ethos (181); Norms (183); Cultural identity and pride (186); Humor (522); Gender status (562); Ethics (577); Household (592); Family relationships (593); Ethnopsychology (828); Ethnosociology (829); Conception (842); Infant care (854); Child care (855); Childhood activities (857); Socialization (860); Gender roles and issues (890);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This document, aptly subtitled 'an ethnography of childhood', is a study of the various socio-cultural factors that are operational in the socialization of children from birth to late adolescence in order to become an adult member of Tongan society. After a brief discussion of some of the theoretical concepts utilized in this study, Lee (Morton) then presents a detailed description of some of the major the factors noted above, such as: ANGA FAKATONGA ('the Tongan way'), the concept of what constitues the ideal individual; Tongan notions of 'personhood' with its cultural values of 'OFA (love, concern), respect, obedience, and independence, and the availability and acquisition of this knowledge by children; physical punishment in children's socialization; and the management of emotion. The work concludes with the author's analysis of childhood socialization processes in reference to recent (ca. 1979-1989) political developments in Tonga.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 107

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ou09-107

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p.305-337) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1979-1989

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle; 2004

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). ca. 1950s-1989

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Villaage of Holonga, Tongatapu Island, Tonga

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Tongans


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