Home Institution

University of Georgia

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Madagascar: National Identity and Social Change


My interest in this subject began with a general desire to understand how Malagasy society adapts to “outsiders.” We learned throughout the semester about the various external forces that have shaped the culture of the island since the arrival of the first people here thousands of years ago. At first, my ideas were focused more on the experiences of people immigrating to Madagascar. I observed very particular patterns: immigrants of certain ethnicities fill specific socioeconomic niches in specific geographic areas, and with varying reception from the Malagasy community.

I came to realize, however, that similar patterns take place even between Malagasy. While many aspects of Malagasy culture are common to all parts of the island, there are definite distinctions between ethnic groups. Regional identity has been an important facet of Malagasy culture throughout history and remains so today.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Civic and Community Engagement | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Natural Resources and Conservation | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Work, Economy and Organizations


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