Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea

The Telling of Difference

Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea

Class has become a feature of life in Papua New Guinea, evident in both "traditional" and "modern" settings. This book examines the emergence of class differences and its social and cultural ramifications in Wewak, capital of the East Sepik Province. It movingly conveys the injuries of class inequalities, and reveals how class has worked in similar and different ways, and how it has become possible and plausible for relatively affluent "nationals," even those living in modest urban centers, to present themselves as fundamentally superior to other Papua New Guineans.


"Gewertz and Errington have written a very valuable study of how a middle class is being formed among the people of Papua New Guinea under contemporary conditions of globalization." Choice

"It is refreshing to see ethnographic data that actually confront an issue in PNG that nearly all of us who work there know has occurred, but which almost no anthropologist has taken seriously. For that reason alone, this book would be most welcome, but i has many other contributions to make as well. This important book is readable and provocative. Many will find it suitable for both undergraduate and graduate courses on development, modernization, and globalization, as well as for Oceania courses. Its firm base in Chambri ehtnography gives it a grounding that will be hard to find elsewhere." Anthropoligical Quarterly

"...this is a valuable book of immediate relevance. It has important things to say about and to the people of Papua New Guinea and a message about the larger question of class. I hope it inspires vigorous discussion and additional research on this vital issue." The Contemporary Pacific, Michael French Smith, LTG Associates