The development of difference: social change around the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine, Papua New Guinea

Gilbert, Paul Robert (2012) The development of difference: social change around the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine, Papua New Guinea. Durham Anthropology Journal, 18 (1). pp. 61-114. ISSN 1742-2930

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Abstract

The research presented here is based on one-month of fieldwork, during which forty-two interviews were conducted in and around Tabubil in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province. I argue that non-renewable resource extraction creates particular forms of inequality in Papua New Guinea, based on the legal status of customary landownership, an emerging class system associated with a form of nationalism which draws on imagery of a generic notion of kastom, and the need for mining companies and the state to identify clearly (geographically and territorially) bounded landowning groups as the recipients of royalty and compensation payments. While local actors may be deeply concerned about the prospects for continued access to morally and materially desirable forms of development following mine closure, elites working for Ok Tedi Mining Limited valorise kastom and ‘village life’ in such a way that they at times refuse to frame the inevitable closure of the mine as a problem.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: non-renewable resource extraction; development; kastom; Ok Tedi; mine closure
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Depositing User: Paul Robert Gilbert
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 13:09
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 13:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69999

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