Greeting the state: entanglements of custom and modernity on Papua New Guinea’s Rai Coast

Stead, Victoria 2012, Greeting the state: entanglements of custom and modernity on Papua New Guinea’s Rai Coast, Anthropological forum, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 16-35.

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Title Greeting the state: entanglements of custom and modernity on Papua New Guinea’s Rai Coast
Author(s) Stead, Victoria
Journal name Anthropological forum
Volume number 23
Issue number 1
Start page 16
End page 35
Total pages 20
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0066-4677
1469-2902
Keyword(s) Papua New Guinea
custom
modernity
power
state
Summary In May 2010, a delegation of Papua New Guinean politicians travelled to a remote village on the country’s north coast to receive a petition against proposed mine activity. The encounter between the politicians and the villagers who had invited them involved two very different articulations of power and authority, and two competing cartographies of centrality and marginality. The encounter speaks to the need to approach the concepts of custom and modernity not only as powerful discourses which are taken up and performed in local places, but also as analytical descriptors of actually existing patterns of practice and meaning which are structurally and ontological distinct. At the same time, however, analysis of the encounter between villagers and politicians makes clear that this structural difference cannot be written straightforwardly onto the social bodies of opposing collectivities. Rather, customary and modern forms of social relations exist in dynamic and ambivalent entanglements, pulled into contingent and differently weighted configurations by actors in local places.
Language eng
Field of Research 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30059446

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