Nate Rigler’s research project guides readers through complex worlds in which Coconut oil holds different forms of spiritual, cultural and social capital.
Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology with a minor a Forestry and Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley
PhD in Pacific Studies, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington
Coconut oil is a product with boundless social lives (Appadurai, 1986); Nate’s thesis explores several through a multisited, mixed methods approach. Coconut Oil Reflects draws on data collected from coconut oil-related discourse, over five hundred anonymous survey responses, and forty-four in-person interviews with diasporic Pacific and non-Pacific participants living in the San Francisco Bay Area, United States and the Wellington Region, New Zealand. By employing a foundationally Pacific studies approach, his research project guides readers through complex worlds in which coconut oil holds different forms of spiritual, cultural, and social capital (Bourdieu, 1986). Nate was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and has been living between New Zealand and California since he was a teenager. Nate identifies as a second-generation diasporic Chamorro and belongs to his mother's large Kotla clan. Nate has a keen interest in commodity culture, diasporic identity, and natural resource management. He completed his PhD qualification in 2022.