Saltwater Sociality : A Melanesian Island Ethnography, Hardback Book

Saltwater Sociality : A Melanesian Island Ethnography Hardback


[M]ethodologically innovative, theoretically sophisticated, ethnographically engaging, and beautifully written - what makes this book especially noteworthy is the author's ability to bring closely observed research data into productive dialogue with general social scientific theories.

Michael W. Scott, London School of Economics [A] fascinating manuscript.

It is clearly and straightforwardly written, adds new and important ethnographic material to the small but growing contemporary literature of Island Melanesia, and is relevant to current debates in a number of ways.

James Leach, University of Aberdeen The inhabitants of Pororan Island, a small group of 'saltwater people' in Papua New Guinea, are intensely interested in the movements of persons across the island and across the sea, both in their everyday lives as fishing people and on ritual occasions.

From their observations of human movements, they take their cues about the current state of social relations.

Based on detailed ethnography, this study engages current Melanesian anthropological theory and argues that movements are the Pororans' predominant mode of objectifying relations. Movements on Pororan Island are to its inhabitants what roads are to 'mainlanders' on the nearby larger island, and what material objects and images are to others elsewhere in Melanesia.

Katharina Schneider is Lecturer at the Institute for Ethnology at Heidelberg University.

She obtained her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Anthropology
  • ISBN: 9780857453013

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