Pairing and Avoidance: An Otherness-Focused Approach to Social Ties

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:
Pairing and Avoidance: An Otherness-Focused Approach to Social Ties

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This chapter explores a pattern of pairing and avoidance that Korowai enact across many different areas of life activity. It then looks at what can be called dyad-based forms of person reference, in which a kinship term is joined to a personal name. Interactional avoidance, like landownership and travel across ownership margins, is organized as a questioning exploration of how people stand to each other. Beyond underlining that pairing is a characteristic Korowai mode of relation making, it has attempted more specifically to make clear the kinds of relations, persons, and social worlds that are created through Korowai practices of pairing. In practices of pairing and avoidance, Korowai specifically focus on alterity as a core aspect of signifying acts. Dyad-based person reference forms, along with mother-in-law avoidance, signal people's histories of emerging from or being involved with others' bodies and bodily actions.

Keywords: pairing; interactional avoidance; Korowai; dyad-based person reference; mother-in-law avoidance

Chapter.  12752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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