Symbolic action and soil fertility: Political ecology and the transformation of space and place in Tonga
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This article discusses the historical and contemporary transition between traditional and industrial land management practices and agricultural markets throughout Tonga. This case study from 1991-1993, focuses on gathering quantitative and qualitative information on household economics and soil fertility in monocropped, subsistence, market, and inactive fields. Using a political ecology approach, the author studies the interconnected relationships and changes in feasting rituals, food consumption, democratic rights, religion, labor migrations, and commercial cropping to explore how changes in these social and ecological activities have degraded the land and soil fertility. Furthermore, this case study shows how Tongan land-management activities and social identities are influenced by regional and global marketplaces associated with commercial crop production systems.