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From exclusion and alienation to a multi-racial community:The image of the mtis in New Caledonian literature

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In her 2005 New Year's greetings, Marie-Nolle Thmereau, the President of the New Caledonian government, expressed her confidence in the future of her multiracial country, echoing the recognition of New Caledonia's demographic make-up in official discourse since the Noumea Accord (1998). This view of New Caledonian society has not, however, always been so optimistic or encompassing. The island's mixed population of some 230,000 has given rise over the years to social and political tensions. In this context, representations of Self and Other found in the island's literature, particularly as they concern the historically highly contentious issue of biological and cultural interaction, provide valuable perspectives on this subject, enabling us to trace the evolution of local attitudes to the question of mtissage and acquire a broader vision of the lived experience of the island's population.

Keywords: New Caledonia; alienation; exclusion; integration; mtis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijfs.8.3.305/1

Affiliations: Australian National University.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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