Introduction: Otherness as a Relation

Rupert Stasch

in Society of Others

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780520256859
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943322 | DOI:
Introduction: Otherness as a Relation

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This book explores the ways in which Korowai people of West Papua, Indonesia make qualities of otherness the central focus of their social relations. Otherness is a main category by which Korowai themselves talk about social relations. It argues that Korowai define their social engagements around ways in which they are strange to each other. The main finding developed is that a social bond conjoins qualities of otherness and involvement in Korowai people's reflexive sensibilities about social relations. Korowai places and social relations are not even isomorphic with themselves and this nonisomorphism is of foundational importance to the shape of Korowai social experience. The vision of Orientalism consensus offers only occasional insights for the Korowai cultural practices. Furthermore, it emphasizes how patterns of the temporality of social relations are a major concern. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: social relations; Korowai; West Papua; Indonesia; otherness; reflexive sensibilities; Orientalism consensus; cultural practices

Chapter.  8688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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