The Rascal Road: Crime, Prestige, and Development in Papua New Guinea Goddard, Michael 2009-10-30T00:14:08Z 2009-10-30T00:14:08Z 1995
dc.description.abstract This article critiques analyses that interpret gang crime, or "rascalism," in Papua New Guinea as an underclass phenomenon. Illustrative sketches of gang members' lifestyles and expressed attitudes toward their own criminal behavior are used to demonstrate a variety of social backgrounds and individual reasons for pursuing a criminal career. Themes suggested by these sketches are explored through a discussion of the Melanesian gift economy and common indigenous understandings of the concept of development. That concept tends to be apprehended by Papua New Guineans in terms of the gift economy, with its complex integration of issues of reciprocity, socioeconomic obligation, status, and prestige. Parallels are drawn between the behavior and attitudes of rascals and the ethnographically familiar patterns of behavior by Papua New Guineans associated with the pursuit of status and prestige through the manipulation of relationships of reciprocation and obligation. The "rascal" lifestyle is interpreted as a strategy for pursuing prestige and the appropriation of commodities into a gift economy. Rather than view rascalism as a product of poverty and unemployment generated by processes of development or underdevelopment, it is analytically useful to consider it as an issue of the problematic encounter between a cash economy and an enduring, robust gift economy.
dc.identifier.citation Goddard, Michael. 1995. The Rascal Road: Crime, Prestige, and Development in Papua New Guinea. The Contemporary Pacific 7 (1): 55-80.
dc.identifier.issn 1043-898X
dc.language.iso en-US
dc.publisher University of Hawai'i Press
dc.publisher Center for Pacific Islands Studies
dc.subject.lcsh Oceania -- Periodicals.
dc.title The Rascal Road: Crime, Prestige, and Development in Papua New Guinea
dc.type Article
dc.type.dcmi Text
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