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POSTPONED -DEV Research Seminar - Wednesday 27th November

Olivia's research seminar has been postponed until January 2020.


The Goroka Marketplace and Economies of Recognition: locating gender, emotions and care in the gifting economies of Goroka, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

 Olivia Barnett-Nagshineh

How we understand what is deemed ‘economic’ rarely includes the realm of emotional well-being. However, the emotions of others being acknowledged publically and through material exchanges of valuable objects is fundamental to the gifting economies around Goroka in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I researched the impact of food becoming a commodity, in an urban food marketplace, on gender relations and exchange. I concluded that the marketplace, although appearing as a site for commercial or commodity transactions, is embedded in everyday moralities where money, food, emotions and affect are exchanged as part of the continuous recognition of mutual humanity. Local concepts such as ‘pasin’ and ‘luksave,’ demonstrate expectations to acknowledge the personhood of another and ensure the consideration of others is maintained as an ethic of care, despite increasingly expensive household demands. By drawing attention to the emotional and affective aspects of gifting and food exhanges in Goroka, I highlight the especially important role women have in gifting, and use food crops such as asbin (winged bean) as an example of local economies of recognition where the efforts of others are valued in public acts of exchange.