This paper argues that the ethno-local distinctions evident in youth cultural practice in Fiji occupy most of the symbolic space of the popular, encoding an intractable struggle between two ethnic groups who traditionally hold power in some areas, but not others. Distinctive styles and traditions contrast strongly in the popular music/dance preferences of Fijian youth, to the extent that ethnicity can be identified as the major signifier of difference. The irreducible political-economic dimension of music and dance in Fijian youth culture is that of polarisation and implicit exclusion of the other. In a divided cultural environment such as urban Fiji, globally distributed western pop music and dance styles come to constitute the safe middle ground in local youth media and music/dance venues.
Perfect Beat: The Pacific Journal of Research into Contemporary Music and Popular Culture Vol. 7, Issue 2, p. 20-35