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Inequality in New Guinea Highlands Societies

Inequality in New Guinea Highlands Societies


Part of Cambridge Papers in Social Anthropology

Maurice Godelier, Andrew Strathern, Nicholas Modjeska, Jack Golson
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  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521107846

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About the Authors
  • Now reissued in paperback with a new preface. The Highlands societies of Papua New Guinea, which have been studied intensively by numerous anthropologists since the 1950s, have been widely described as egalitarian and as characterised by achieved leadership. The Melanesian 'big-man' system, in which men achieve social status largely by their manipulation of wealth in elaborate structures of ceremonial exchange, has become an established anthropological model. However research has suggested that this interpretation has underestimated the elements of structured inequality within these societies, and that the classic picture should be modified and supplemented. The five papers in this volume seek to illuminate patterns of inequality in Highlands societies, which revolve around the categories of elders/juniors, big-men/workers and men/women. In setting these into a context of long-term and recent social changes, they also aim to develop schemes of analysis which will permit discussion of the societies over extended periods of time.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521107846
    • length: 204 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.27kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Social hierarchies among the Baruya of New Guinea Maurice Godelier
    2. Two waves of African models in the New Guinea Highlands Andrew Strathern
    3. Production and inequality: perspectives from central New Guinea Nicholas Modjeska
    4. The Ipomoean revolution revisited: society and the sweet potato in the upper Wahgi valley Jack Golson
    5. Tribesmen or peasants? Andrew Strathern.

  • Author

    Andrew Strathern


    Maurice Godelier, Andrew Strathern, Nicholas Modjeska, Jack Golson

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