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Drawing on a number of ethnographic case studies this overview first discusses classical anthropological sketches of exchange, economy, governance, and politics in Melanesia. It concludes that in general Melanesian societies have been discussed in terms of their processes of reciprocity, kinship, personhood, knowledge transactions and cultural innovations. Following this brief overview, I argue that to account for recent social and cultural transformations in the region, scholarly focus should move more firmly beyond clan or language group characteristics and pay attention to emerging regional and island-based singularities. Because Christianity is often a source of inspiration for imagining such communities and nations, more attention needs to be paid to its political influence.
|Title of host publication||The Melanesian world|
|Editors||Eric Hirsch, Will Rollason|
|Place of Publication||London ; New York|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
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