The Death of the Big Men and the Rise of the Big Shots: Custom and Conflict in East New Britain (ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology 3)

The Death of the Big Men and the Rise of the Big Shots: Custom and Conflict in East New Britain (ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology 3)

By: Keir Martin (author)Paperback

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In 1994, the Pacific island village of Matupit was partially destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This study focuses on the subsequent reconstruction and contests over the morality of exchanges that are generative of new forms of social stratification. Such new dynamics of stratification are central to contemporary processes of globalization in the Pacific, and more widely. Through detailed ethnography of the transactions that a displaced people entered into in seeking to rebuild their lives, this book analyses how people re-make sociality in an era of post-colonial neoliberalism without taking either the transformative power of globalization or the resilience of indigenous culture as its starting point. It also contributes to the understanding of the problems of post-disaster reconstruction and development projects.

About Author

Keir Martin is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and is the author of a number of academic and media publications on Papua New Guinea and the global economy. He was formerly a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester and is a recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Sutasoma Award for work likely to make an outstanding contribution to social anthropology.


List of illustrations List of tables Acknowledgements Note on Language General maps (Maps 1 and 2) Introduction: Land Politics and Postcolonial Sociality in the Wake of Environmental Disaster Chapter 1. An Orientation to the Shifting Patterns of Tolai Land Tenure Chapter 2. Land at Sikut: Freedom from Kastomand Economic Development Chapter 3. Kulia: an Ambiguous Transaction Chapter 4. What Makes a Landholder: a Case Study of a Matupit Land Dispute Chapter 5. Kastom, Family and Clan: Extending and Limiting Obligations Chapter 6. Kastom and Contested Reciprocity Chapter 7. Big Shots, Corned Beef and Big Heads Chapter 8. A Fish Trap for Kastom Chapter 9. Big Men, Big Shots and Bourgeois Individuals: conflicts over moral obligation and the limits of reciprocity Chapter 10. Your Own Buai You Must Buy: the Big Shot as Contemporary Melanesian Possessive Individual Chapter 11. Conclusions Glossary References Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781785330322
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9781785330322
  • weight: 372
  • ISBN10: 1785330322

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