'Seeing’ Papua New Guinea: Making Order and Disorder through a Petroleum Project

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article contributes to debates about how capitalist corporations ‘see’, and how they concurrently relate to the places where they are located. It argues that an analytical focus on seeing illuminates how internal organization and outwards relation-making are tied together in complex ways. Even so, corporations of the extractive industries in particular cannot be assumed to encompass a single coherent view. The empirical case is a critical examination of how a gas project
employed strict health, safety and security measures to generate order, when encountering alterity in an unfamiliar environment in Papua New Guinea. It reveals how the project was organized around two conflicting ways of seeing its host country—trying to separate itself from while simultaneously having to engage and provide benefits for it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Analysis: The International Journal of Anthropology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)44-63
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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