'The Vezo are not a kind of people': identity, difference and 'ethnicity' among a fishing people of western Madagascar.
American ethnologist, 22
This paper presents a model of identity and difference alternative to ethnicity. It describes how the Vezo of western Madagascar construe their identity by transcending descent or descent-based features of the person. To be a Vezo is to have learnt Vezo-ness, and to perform it: identity is an activity rather than a state of being. Difference is construed by an analogous process of identification: others are different because they have acquired and perform another identity. Both identity and difference are not inherent in people, but are performative.
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