By Victoria C. Stead
Across Melanesia, the ways that humans hook up with land are being reworked through approaches of modernization—globalization, the construction 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 experience that those tactics of swap compel varieties of estate family, and within the experience that “landowner” and “custom landowner” turn into identities to be wielded opposed to the encroachment of either nation and capital. In locations the place general different types 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, energy, and tradition are reconfigured and reimagined.
Employing a multi-sited ethnographic process, Becoming Landowners explores those ameliorations to land and existence as they spread throughout Melanesian nations. The chapters circulate among coasts and inland mountain levels, among city facilities and rural villages, telling the tales of individuals and areas who're continuously located and specific yet who additionally proportion robust commonalities of expertise. those contain a subsistence-based group formed by means of the legacies of colonialism and career in distant Timor-Leste, villagers in Papua New Guinea resisting a mining operation and the govt brokers assisting it, an city East Timorese payment resisting eviction via the countryside its citizens was hoping might signify them within the post-independence period, and folks and teams in either international locations who're suffering for, with, and infrequently opposed to the formal codification in their claims to land and position. In every one of those circumstances, familiar and glossy varieties of connection to land are propelled into advanced and dynamic configurations, theorized right here 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. the following, buildings of strength are destabilized in ways in which can lend themselves to the diminishing of neighborhood autonomy within the face of the kingdom and capital. while, the destabilization of strength additionally creates new probabilities for the reassertion of that autonomy, and of the widespread sorts of connection to land within which it's 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