Modern Papua New Guinea

By Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi | Go to book overview

Jeanette Dickerson-Putman


MEN AND THE DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE
IN AN EASTERN HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY

SINCE THE MID-1970S much scholarly research has been focused on the ways in which gender influenced an individual's experience of development in both Melanesia and worldwide (Boserup 1990; P. Brown 1988; Cox and Aitsi 1988; Gardner 1976; Hughes 1985; Preston and Wormald 1987; Sexton 1986; A. Strathern 1982b; Stratigos and Hughes 1987). In many of these works, women's negative experience with development was opposed to men's positive and beneficial experience with development. This paper will compare and contrast the life course, and associated gender models and roles, of Bena Bena men in the community of Ganaga in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea in both the past and in contemporary times. The comparison of the male life course provides a structure for understanding men's experiences and the relationships among men. A particular emphasis will be on how the development process was experienced differently by men of various ages and how this heterogeneity of experience and values has also affected community life and social control in the contemporary Eastern Highlands village of Ganaga.


THE MALE EXPERIENCE IN PRE-CONTACT GANAGA

My understanding and partial reconstruction of life in Ganaga prior to Australian contact was acquired through both interviews with inform-

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