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Specificity

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2025-04-01
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Abstract

This essay is one of more than a dozen in this volume to honor the late Mary Margaret Steedly. The paper’s theme, “specificity,” expounds on advice that Steedly gave to the author during her doctoral defense. Steedly offered that “there’s a very nice balance between the primatological issues that you are dealing with and the distinctive personalities of orangutans. You also do that with your human subjects … you were able to address them as people with specific issues and concerns and lifestyles … but it does seem that [in your thesis] the larger structures in which these social relations are embedded tend to either dissolve or blur into generic categories of capitalism, neoliberalism, colonialism, without as much specificity … [It would be helpful to] engage more with the social context in which those interactions took place, in a very specific way: not just colonialism, but British colonialism in Sarawak … Not just indigenous peoples, but Ibans specifically … thicken up the context in which these were going on … it could possibly enrich what you are doing.”

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Indonesia

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Vol. 109

Description

Page range: 65-70

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2020-04

Publisher

Cornell University Southeast Asia Program

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