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Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific
by Mary Patterson

ISBN: 9780702239007
PUBLISHER: University of Queensland Press
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 304
DIMENSIONS: 230mmX152mmX25mm 408grams

Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific takes the reader on a broad sweep through contemporary topics in Melanesian anthropology and ethnography, and brings the strands together with nuanced and rigorous scholarship. 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. Thereby enabled to improve their standards of living, they would 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. This volume places contemporary debate on modernity in Melanesia into the perspectives of the global economy, and cultural/imaginary capitalism. In particular, contributors assess local ideas about wealth, success, speculation and development and their connections to participation in institutions and activities generated by them. In considerations of collectivities in rural Solomon Islands, fast money schemes in Papua New Guinea, gambling in the Cook Islands and the Vanuatu tax haven, these ideas emerge 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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