Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Subversion, Conversion, DevelopmentCross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Leach and Lee Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027168

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027168.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Engaging Interests

Engaging Interests

(p.223) 11 Engaging Interests
Subversion, Conversion, Development

Marilyn Strathern

The MIT Press

This chapter begins by raising the question of what is compelling about the repurposing or reuse of technologies. The unique way in which specific interests are aligned in these innovations, exposing assumptions and contesting domination, offers an insight about the social capacity for engagement in general. People are engaged because they see that they themselves, and others, have an interest in collaboration or exchange, or whatever. What might be useful to consider then is how relations themselves can be kept open enough for the potential of engaging interests that cannot be specified in advance. Turning first to exogamy in Highlands Papua New Guinean marriage organisation, we find a set of protocols that have as their purpose the engagement of people's interests while maintaining those interests as both different and yet conjoined. These protocols, put to new work in contemporary marriage, are remarkably able to accommodate innovation. Taking a lesson from this material in a turn to technologies, we might suggest that as technique and sociality enfolded inseparably together, technical objects have relations at once interior and exterior within them. Their reuse or reappearance in new contexts demonstrates a renewal of energy, a capacity to work in new ways based on that engagement of interest. ‘Interest’ might usefully be seen as a social counterpart to ‘technology’.

Keywords:   Exogamy, Papua New Guinea, Technology, Interests, Innovation

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.