Disparate dimensions of a Mekeo socio-moral order

Values, emotions and dispositions in language, discourse and practice

Alan Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Terms for affective constructs and references to social ideals proliferate in the ethnography of the Mekeo, but these are often inconsistently defined and treated in isolation. I here attempt to produce a more coherent account of relevant terms and, ultimately, a systematic representation of the ontologically disparate elements that combined to produce a viable socio-moral order in twentieth-century Mekeo village society. The exercise reveals unexpected synergies between seemingly unrelated dispositions and emotions, espoused values and enacted Using Bourdieu's concept of a 'generative model' (1990) I develop a schematic account that brings a gamut of diverse socio-moral constructs into semi-orderly alignment with the realities of a disorderly lifeworld. For a certain time at least, the socio-moral discourse and practices summarised in this schema successfully resolved the basic lived problem of the Mekeo lifeworld-the antinomy between a social structure based on inequality and the intransigence of a narcissistic and hubristic inner male self.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-380
    Number of pages16
    JournalThe Australian Journal of Anthropology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

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