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Title: We are playing football: Seeing the game on Panapompom, PNG
Authors: Rollason, W
Keywords: Football;Papua New Guinea;Development;Global sport
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17, 481 - 503, 2011
Abstract: This article is about football, played by men from Panapompom in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay province. Football is problematic not because it is culturally appropriated or modified, but rather because Panapompom desired accurately to reproduce the appearance of the international game. As such it questions conventional frames of reference. An interpretation in terms of culture obscures Panapompom interests in football: its globally recognizable character. It mattered profoundly that Panapompom people played football. Yet framing football as a universal sporting institution is equally inadequate, erasing the specific political project that was embedded in the game. Displacing the interpretative framings, I argue that football itself provides a context in which Panapompom people can judge themselves in relation to others, who are defined in terms of colonial and postcolonial discourses on ‘development’. Taking football as a contextualizing image, Panapompom people appear in distinctive ways in the field of relationships that it defines.
Description: © Royal Anthropological Institute 2011.
ISSN: 1359-0987
Appears in Collections:Anthropology
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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