Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts

Deborah B. Gewertz, Author, Frederick Errington, Author, Frederick K. Errington, Author Cambridge University Press $36.99 (280p) ISBN 978-0-521-39587-8
Gewertz and Errington ( Cultural Alternatives and a Feminist Anthropology ) have produced their second book-length treatment on the Chambri, a tribal society first studied by Margaret Mead in the 1930s. This volume focuses on changes wrought in Chambri culture by tourism, formal education, urbanization and Westernization. It also examines the relationship of the tribe to the government of Papua New Guinea since 1975. The Chambri realize that the context in which they live has changed but are unsure of exactly how or what to do about it. For some, tourism is the way to obtain resources necessary to maintain their traditional lifestyle, but as the authors point out, the culture itself is altered by that very exploitation. Struggling to avoid the perils inherent in ethnology, the authors take an unconventional approach in that they seek to aid the Chambri in their fight for survival and autonomy. Gewertz and Errington's overtly political anthropology thus has ends narrower than anthropology in general: they force readers to acknowledge that all science serves certain goals and to ask whose goals it does serve. Illustrated. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/03/2004
Release date: 06/01/1991
Hardcover - 278 pages - 978-0-521-40012-1
Ebook - 978-1-139-16643-0
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