Mittwoch, 28. Juni 2017, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Wednesday Seminar

Changing social inequalities between Wampar: Non-Wampar (yaner) workers in the Markham Valley, Papua New Guinea

Bettina Beer

Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, HS-C
Universitätsstraße 7 (NIG); 4. Stock, 1010 Wien


Over the fifty years for which ethnographic data are avail-able, some Wampar households have had significant social relations with non-Wampar (yaner) workers. In the past, such relations sometimes approached a species of adoption. Today, some single yaner men are attached to households and work for food and a place to sleep; in other cases, whole yaner families/households have been given access to land under specific conditions. The re-sulting spectrum of Wampar-yaner relations ranges from the quasi-familial through what some anthropologists would call ‘patronage’ relations to something approxi-mating wage employment. This spectrum is considered in the context of an area that has become progressively ‘suburbanised’ as Lae has expanded physically and eco-nomically, and which shows how variable the speed and extent of change in the relations between a centre and its neighbouring hinterland and the people involved can be. Commercial interest in land in the area around Gab-songkeg has led to the negotiations of notions like “landowner/landholder”. Some Wampar have sold, leased, and/or re-sold land to middle class outsiders with dependent families) under different legal schemes or without any legal basis. Others let unemployed yaner from remote areas stay on their land. These develop-ments transform pre-existing patterns of inequality be-tween Wampar and add new dimensions to forms of lead-ership. This is of importance for the understanding of fu-ture reconfigurations of inequalities under the impact of large-scale capitalist projects.


Bettina Beer studierte an der Universität Hamburg Ethnologie und promo-vierte 1995 mit einer Dissertation zum Thema "Deutsch-philippinische Ehen. Interethnische Heiraten und Migration von Frauen". Die Habili-tation erlangte sie 2001 im Fach Ethnologie mit der Habilitationsschrift "Körperkonzepte, inter-ethnische Beziehungen und Rassismustheorien". Bettina Beer führte langdauernde Feldforschun-gen auf den Philippinen und in Papua-Neu-guinea durch, und forschte zu kultureller Diver-sität im deutschsprachigen Raum. Für ihre wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten erhielt Bettina Beer den Siemers-Preis der Universität Hamburg und ein Heisenberg-Stipendium der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Tabitha Schnoeller
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie