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Shane Aporosa

Doctor of Philosophy, (Devlopment Studies)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Yaqona (kava) and education in Fiji: Investigating 'cultural complexities' from a post-development perspective

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Yaqona - more commonly known throughout Pasifika as kava - is presented and drunk in Fiji at almost every event from birth to death.  Yaqona is considered an ingestible manifestation of the people, their land and cultural systems and consumed by many Fijians on a nightly basis.  In a first of its kind study, Aporosa used cognitive tests and interviews that showed yaqona use by teachers can disrupt cognition and in turn negatively impact teaching quality on mornings following yaqona consumption. Traditionally, development theory has prescribed prohibition and situational bans in cases where indigenous substances negatively impact productivity.  However, in the case of yaqona, Aporosa argued prohibition would be short-sighted as this indigenous substance is critical to the facilitation of school function, identity formation and academic achievement - all elements necessary to development.  This study is important for policy makers and development practitioners, demonstrating the need to consider wider cultural and societal issues in development.

Professor Regina Scheyvens
Dr Glen Banks
Dr Una Nabobo-Baba