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Wage, Trade, And Exchange In Melanesia: A Manus Society In The Modern State

by James G. Carrier And Achsah H. Carrier

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Book Description
Ponam Island, a small community in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, is the subject of this innovative study. The authors extend the criticism within anthropology of ethnographies that attempt to analyze village communities without reference to the nations of which they are a part, and that equate the traditional and the exotic with the untouched. They do so by describing the links between a peripheral village society and Papua New Guinea's national economy and institutions, in a way that will interest all those concerned with development and underdevelopment.
The analysis focuses on major socioeconomic areas of village life: education, migration, wage employment, and remittance; trade, commerce, and exchange; subsistence fishing; ceremonial exchange. The authors' findings challenge the idea that colonial and Western-oriented encroachment leads to the decay of village societies or to their adopting Western values and practices. Ponam has been under significant Western influence for almost a century, yet the society has not decayed. It remains flourishing and generative, uniquely itself and neither blindly traditional nor mindlessly Western.

From the Inside Flap
"Detailed, well documented, and logically argued."--Miriam Kahn, University of Washington

From the Back Cover
"Detailed, well documented, and logically argued." (Miriam Kahn, University of Washington)

About the Author
James G. Carrier teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia. Achsah H. Carrier recently received her doctorate from the University of London.



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