Intersecting Inequalities, Moving Positionalities: An Interlude


In this chapter Margaret Jolly reflects on the scholarship of one of her long-term colleagues and friends, Martha Macintyre. Jolly highlight three critical characteristics of Martha’s scholarship to which the authors in this volume attest and have engaged with in various ways. First, I witness her staunch and
sustained critique of inequalities—in particular, gender and class and their intersection in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Second, I observe how, from her very first writing, in collaboration with Edmund Leach on a classic volume on the kula (Leach & Leach 1983), in her bibliography of the kula (Macintyre, 1983a) and in her own ethnography of Tubetube (e.g. Macintyre, 1983b) she has exposed the chimera of closed, persisting cultures, conceived in antithetical opposition rather than relation to foreign influences. Third, I observe how Martha has always positioned herself as a critical anthropologist, sustaining a strong ethic of ethnographic fidelity to her interlocutors in many sites and challenging lingering romanticisation of culture in provocative scholarly analyses and revealing reports, often in the fraught contexts of researching extractive industries and gender violence in PNG (e.g. Macintyre, 1995, 2011, 2012, 2017; Macintyre & Spark, 2017).

(Chapter in edited volume: Nick Bainton, John Cox and Debra McDougall (eds), Unequal Lives: Gender, Race and Class in the Western Pacific. Canberra: ANU Press, 439–467).

Research Type(s)
Book Chapter
Submitted by Margaret Jolly
June 17, 2022
Published in

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