Since the proliferation of scholarship on racial and ethnic antagonism following the Civil Rights era, neo-Marxist, colonialism, and other power-conflict theories reached popularity and have been widely applied to explain racial and ethnic conflict throughout the world, particularly in the United States. However there is a lack of scholarship on racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. territories in general and the Pacific Islands in particular. Although a few works exist in terms of interethnic antagonism and anti-immigrant sentiment in Puerto Rico, Melanesia, and Hawaii, there is a lack of research on interethnic antagonism in Micronesia; therefore comparative analyses of race and ethnicity in the context of U.S. territorial relations would contribute to the general body of knowledge in ethnic studies. In light of Micronesia's complex colonial history and its contemporary political and economic context (i.e. immigration, labor exploitation, territorial relations, neocolonialism, indigenous sovereignty struggles, and garment, tourist, and construction industries), understanding of intergroup relations in Micronesia would also benefit from an analysis of interethnic antagonism.

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