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Money Games: Gambling in a Papua New Guinea Town

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Volume 10

ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology

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Money Games

Gambling in a Papua New Guinea Town

Anthony J. Pickles

216 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-221-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-222-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“[This study] offers fascinating insights into how local communities make their own rules and create their own business and cultures by taking up new practices, in this instance gambling, and associating them with their traditional way of life.” • Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies

“This ability to tie gambling to broader economic practices, processes of identification, and social changes, is one of the key strengths of this monograph…It is an engaging and thoroughly interesting ethnography that will be of great interest to all students of economic anthropology, the cultural and social dynamics of Pacific Island communities, and the interdisciplinary field of gambling studies.” • Pacific Affairs

Money Games is at once wholly original in subject matter and rigorous and convincing in argumentation. This study is a genuine breakthrough in our understanding of contemporary life in Papua New Guinea and it stands as a novel intervention in recent debates about the nature of money and social aspects of economic life.” • Joel Robbins, Sigrid Rausing Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Money Games will doubtless become an important book in the anthropology of economy, value and money, as well as a substantial contribution to the Melanesianist literature.” • Bill Maurer, University of California, Irvine


Gambling in Papua New Guinea, despite being completely absent prior to the Colonial era, has come to supersede storytelling as the region’s main nighttime activity. Money Games is an ethnographic monograph which reveals the contemporary importance of gambling in urban Papua New Guinea. Rich ethnographic detail is coupled with cross-cultural comparison which span the globe. This anthropological study of everyday economics in Melanesia thereby intersects with theories of money, value, play, informal economy, social change and leadership.

Anthony J. Pickles is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Affiliated Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and Bye-Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge. He was formerly Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Political and Economic AnthropologyCultural Studies (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific


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