USP Electronic Research Repository

The Digital Vā: Negotiating Socio-spatial Relations in Cyberspace, Place and Time

Koya, Cresantia F. (2017) The Digital Vā: Negotiating Socio-spatial Relations in Cyberspace, Place and Time. In: The Relational Self: Decolonizing Personhood in the Pacific. USP and The Pacific Theological College , Suva, pp. 61-78. ISBN 987-982-01-0968-1

[img] PDF (Book chapter ) - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (619kB)


The shared life philosophy of the Vā has been presented in scholarly writing as social, spiritual relations in Samoan and Tongan culture (Mahina, 2002; Amituanai-Toloa, 2006; Thaman, 2006; Tamasese, 2007; Ka’ili, 2008; Tuagalu, 2008; Anae, 2010). The Vā, defined as relational spaces or space-between, is theorised as a philosophy underpinning identity formation and providing rules of social engagement. It guides the reinforcement and strengthening of relationships within the self and with others in community, the environment and the wider world. Traditionally, the multiple complexities of the various aspects of the Vā played out solely as abstract spaces in real time and place. This chapter explores the notion of the digital Vā in the context of cyberspace, place and time. Using Facebook as an example of the use of social media by Pacific communities, it is premised on the question, are we digitising the Vā? A family intergenerational case study is used as an exploratory entry point to demonstrate shifting boundaries of acceptability of the kinds of familial exchanges that take place in social media. Drawing on the theoretical lens of values theory, these reflections pose key questions for Pacific youth, for whom e-culture and cyber-identity form a critical component of their sense of being and doing. It is argued that these new ways of being pose serious implications for culture change as they begin to play out in real time, ultimately transforming their sense of self and the relationships these young people eventually forge, develop and maintain.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Education
Depositing User: Cresantia Koya-Vaka'uta
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 04:52
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 04:52

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...