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Christianity, cargo and ideas of self: Patterns of literacy in a Papua New Guinean village
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
1990 (English)In: Man, Vol. 25, no 2, 286-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Literacy in a small, rural, newly literate Papua New Guinean village is analysed by placing it in the context of local notions of Christianity, the self and language. Villagers' interpretations of the relationship between Catholicism and the written word are based on their Cargo-oriented world-view and on their pre-Christian beliefs about language as a powerful means by which individuals could bring about transformations in their world. Local ideas of the self and others are articulated and reinforced through an emphasis on particular dimensions of oral language use. This emphasis has consequences for the uses to which literacy is put, the structure of the writing the villagers produce, and the ways in which they attribute meaning to written texts.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Royal Anthropological Institute , 1990. Vol. 25, no 2, 286-304 p.
Keyword [en]
cargo christianity guinea literacy new papua self
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36122OAI: diva2:288820
Available from: 2010-01-21 Created: 2010-01-21 Last updated: 2010-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Stroud, Christopher
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