Labour History

Reading Ethnography as Labour History: The Example of the Latmul, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

Labour History (2005), 89, (1), 197–213.

Abstract

The present essay explores how ethnography can contribute to the development of a truly global labour historiography. Since the 1910s, ethnographers have been carrying out fieldwork among the Iatmul, a small ethnos in Papua New Guinea. Up to about 40 years ago the indigenous people lived from fishing and agriculture, but then began to move into the cities, where they became wholly or partly proletarianised. The reports of British, American and Swiss ethnologists who have visited the Iatmul time and again in their original villages, and later in the urban squatter settlements, can be read diachronically as a kind of long-term study of gendered proletarianisation processes.

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Author details

van der Linden, Marcel

Table of Contents

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