First Published in 1991. In the 1980s many anthropologists rejected the classic concern with the structure and logic of social organisation and embraced instead a concern with process, with the fluidity of events and individual strategy. Through its analysis of a Melanesian society and the ways it has changed in the twentieth century this book addresses the relationship between the classic structural approach and the more recent processual one. The society analysed is Ponam, located on a small island in Papua New Guinea. The book describes Ponam kinship and ceremonial exchange, and so compliments the authors’' analysis of Onam economic organisation in 'Wage, Tarde and Exchange in Melanesia'. Like its companion volume, this book locates Ponanm in its broader social, political and economic environment.
". . .the book [is] valuable not only for what it has to say about a contemporary Papua New Guinea community. . .but more particularly for its wide-ranging critique of other anthropological accounts of Melanesian societies."