Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific

Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific

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Author: Macintyre, Martha
ISBN: 9780702239007
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Year First Published: 2011
Pages: 326
Dimensions: 228mm x 154mm x 25mm
Format: Paperback / softback

Since the 1970s, Melanesian countries have been beguiled by the prospect of economic development that would enable them to participate in a world market economic system. Global markets would provide the means to improve their standards of living, allowing them to take their places as independent nations in a modern world. But development, like globalisation and modernity itself, are contested notions both in theory and practice. Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific takes a broad sweep through contemporary topics in Melanesian anthropology and ethnography. With nuanced and rigorous scholarship, it views contemporary debate on modernity in Melanesian within the context of the global economy and cultural capitalism. In particular, contributors assess local ideas about wealth, success, speculation and development and their connections to participations in institutions and activities generated by them. Fast money schemes in Papua New Guinea, collectivities in rural Solomon Islands, gambling in the Cook Islands, and the Vanuatu tax haven - all are considered in social contexts where notions of individuality, social obligation, and virtuous relations with kin and community are contested and in flux. This innovative and accessible collection offers a new intersection between Western Pacific anthropology and global studies.

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