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Society of OthersKinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place$
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Rupert Stasch

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256859

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256859.001.0001

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(p.255) Conclusion
Society of Others

Rupert Stasch

University of California Press

This chapter presents the recurrent spatial emphasis in Korowai people's definitions of social relations. It discusses the analysis of specific relations as contradictory unities of close intimacy and distant otherness. Next, it reviews how Korowai understand loss as integral to relatedness and other ways in which Korowai social relations unify closeness and distance in the medium of time. Finally, Korowai people's own sensibilities about their lives as a “pragmatics” are described. It is shown that Korowai practical involvement is not one single pursuit but involves a range of coexisting ways that people affect each other. Sensitivity to the transience of relations of belonging is a facet of overall Korowai sensitivity to otherness as an irreducible basis of social connections. Korowai people's otherness-focused culture of social relations is a culture of action, and can be described in that way.

Keywords:   social relations, Korowai, otherness, pragmatics, belonging, culture of action

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