Models for Masculinity in Colonial and Postcolonial Papua New Guinea


Fife, Wayne. 1995. “Models for Masculinity in Colonial and Postcolonial Papua New Guinea.” The Contemporary Pacific 7 (2): 277-302. 

Author: Wayne Fife


This paper discusses the kinds of models that became available in the colonial context for indigenous men to be men in what eventually became the country of Papua New Guinea. One of the legacies of colonialism and the missionization of masculinity is the development of a new hierarchy of masculine values. These newer norms are in marked contrast to older forms of male effectiveness, and they have helped to define social distinctions within contemporary Papua New Guinea. At the same time, the reality of human behavior spills over the confines of both older and newer cultural norms, and the results can be confusing for individual males. However, individual confusion does not affect the overall saliency of these historically engendered forms of masculinity, nor the importance they may have for the justification of emerging social and economic inequalities within the country.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Indigenous Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 1995

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