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Respectable Lives – Social Standing in Rural New Zealand - California Scholarship Online
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Respectable Lives: Social Standing in Rural New Zealand

Elvin Hatch


Where do we get our notions of social hierarchy and personal worth? What underlies our beliefs about the goals worth aiming for, the persons we hope to become? This book addresses these questions in this ethnography of a small New Zealand farming community, articulating the cultural system beneath the social hierarchy. It describes a cultural theory of social hierarchy that defines not only the local system of social rank, but personhood as well. Because people define respectability differently, a crucial part of the book's approach is to examine how these differences are worked out over time. ... More

Keywords: social hierarchy, personal worth, ethnography, New Zealand, farming community, cultural system, cultural theory, social rank, personhood, respectability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1991 Print ISBN-13: 9780520074729
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520074729.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elvin Hatch, author