By Victoria C. Stead
Across Melanesia, the ways that humans hook up with land are being remodeled by means of methods of modernization—globalization, the development of states and international locations, practices and imaginaries of improvement, the legacies of colonialism, and the complexities of postcolonial encounters. Melanesian peoples are becoming landowners, Stead argues, either within the feel that those techniques of switch compel types of estate relatives, and within the feel that “landowner” and “custom landowner” turn into identities to be wielded opposed to the encroachment of either nation and capital. In areas the place normal sorts of land tenure have lengthy been dominant, deeply intertwined with senses of self and relationships with others, land now turns into a crucible upon which social family, strength, and tradition are reconfigured and reimagined.
Employing a multi-sited ethnographic process, Becoming Landowners explores those variations to land and lifestyles as they spread throughout Melanesian nations. The chapters flow among coasts and inland mountain levels, among city facilities and rural villages, telling the tales of individuals and locations who're consistently located and specific yet who additionally proportion robust commonalities of expertise. those contain a subsistence-based neighborhood formed through the legacies of colonialism and career in distant Timor-Leste, villagers in Papua New Guinea resisting a mining operation and the govt. brokers helping it, an city East Timorese payment resisting eviction via the geographical region its citizens was hoping could symbolize them within the post-independence period, and folks and teams in either nations who're suffering for, with, and infrequently opposed to the formal codification in their claims to land and position. In each one of those circumstances, primary and sleek kinds of connection to land are propelled into advanced and dynamic configurations, theorized the following in an cutting edge means as entanglements of customized and modernity.
Moving among a number of websites, scales, and sorts of collectivity, Becoming Landowners reveals entanglements as areas of deep ambivalence. right here, constructions of energy are destabilized in ways in which can lend themselves to the diminishing of neighborhood autonomy within the face of the country and capital. while, the destabilization of energy additionally creates new chances for the reassertion of that autonomy, and of the generic different types of connection to land within which it truly is grounded.
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Extra resources for Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste (Topics in the Contemporary Pacific)
Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste (Topics in the Contemporary Pacific) by Victoria C. Stead
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