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Just TalkGossip, Meetings, and Power in a Papua New Guinea Village$
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Karen Brison

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520077003

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520077003.001.0001

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Rivalry and Institutionalized Duplicity: The Sociology of Rumor

Rivalry and Institutionalized Duplicity: The Sociology of Rumor

Chapter:
(p.121) Chapter Six Rivalry and Institutionalized Duplicity: The Sociology of Rumor
Source:
Just Talk
Author(s):

Karen J. Brison

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520077003.003.0006

This chapter examines the set of relationships in Kwanga villages which are so effective in generating rumors and ensuring that they have serious consequences. First, villages are comprised of many groups, such as lineages, initiation classes, and moieties, which are predisposed to distrust each other and to resent outside interference. There seems to be something of a segmentary ideology among the Kwanga. Thus, the whole village of Inakor formed a united front in the face of an insult from Asanakor, but as the case in the chapter demonstrates, the two moieties of Inakor who stood united against Asanakor may separate on other occasions into antagonistic groups in response to perceived or real insults from each other. Consequently, when gossip concerns other groups, people take the darkest possible view of what they hear, and are sure that their group has been insulted or is about to be attacked.

Keywords:   relationships, Kwanga, villages, rumors, lineages, moieties, Inakor, Asanakor, gossip, groups

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