Transforming Relations of Gender, Person, and Agency in Oceania

Rachel Morgain
John Taylor

This introduction contextualises the nine papers that make up the special issue Gender and Person in Oceania. Gender and personhood represent core orienting concepts within Pacific anthropology, from the pioneering work of Marilyn Strathern’s Gender of the Gift to more recent scholarly attention to the impact of Christianity and modernity. The papers in this volume offer a comparative and critical perspective on long-standing ideas of relational and individual personhood across multiple sites in Oceania, highlighting several key insights, including the importance of situated and relational understandings of agency and the centrality of those things typically seen as non-agentive to the formation of personhood. Most importantly, while re-establishing the inseparable articulation of personhood with gendered dynamics, the contributors to this volume also highlight the differential, transforming, and shifting nature of engendered personhood, revealed through close attention to local knowledge, conditions, and practices.

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Submitted by Toksave
March 23, 2021
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