Understanding how local political identities are shaped by transnational networks can produce insight into the relationships among global processes, local identities, and the state. This ethnographic exploration of circumpolar transnational processes provides an understanding of the social and cultural factors influencing political identity among the Inuit of the United States. I ask how the local Alaska branch of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC-AK) connects to a broader transnational Indigenous network, and how those networks influence Inuit political identity locally and globally. The following thesis suggests that, despite an increase in cultural influences across national borders due to globalization, political identities remain tied to local and national influences. Moreover, the transnational movements of local political identities may be impeded by national borders and State regulations, revealing the continued importance of the nation-state, rather than its demise in an increasingly globalized world.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2012
Table of Contents
1. Introduction -- 1.1. What are transnational processes? -- 1.2. IPOs, TSMs, TSMOs, NGOs, and ISMs? -- 1.3. What is political identity? -- 1.4. What is the Inuit circumpolar council? -- 2. Methodology, circumpolar ethnography, and the research environment -- 2.1. Methodology -- 2.1.1. Ethnographic research on the Inuit -- 2.2. Fieldwork -- 2.3. Analysis -- 2.4. Limitations -- 3. "Unity within diversity", "Consensus", and "Diplomacy" -- 3.1. The Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska setting -- 3.2. Themes -- 3.2.1. Unity within diversity -- 3.2.2. Consensus in ICC-AK decision making -- 3.2.3. Diplomacy -- 4. Transnational processes and political identity -- 5. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.
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