Sanga and Reynolds 2020 Accepted ALTN Manuscript on secret knowledge.pdf (426.71 kB)
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Knowledge guardianship, custodianship and ethics: a Melanesian perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 21.08.2020 by Kabini Sanga, Martyn Reynolds
© The Author(s) 2020. Across the world, knowledge communities categorise and attach conditions of guardianship to different kinds of knowledge. For private or secret knowledge, those responsible for its care have obligations for arranging and restricting transmission to ensure community survival. While an insider/outsider positionality is often used to navigate this knowledge area, a binary approach is unhelpful. Taking a more relational reading of positionality, we support a dynamic understanding of the transmission of restricted knowledge, using relevant principles of guardianship or custodianship. Based on a Melanesian Solomon Islands tribe, the study sketches a set of principles and shows how they operate in practice. Our intents are to honour the contribution that Melanesian thought makes to rethinking research dichotomies regarding secret knowledge, that readers appreciate the dynamic nature of knowledge guardianship, and that this case study enhances the discussion on ethical entitlement to, or restriction of, Indigenous knowledge in the Pacific region and beyond.
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Preferred citation

Sanga, K. & Reynolds, M. (2020). Knowledge guardianship, custodianship and ethics: a Melanesian perspective. AlterNative, 16(2), 99-107. https://doi.org/10.1177/1177180120917481

Journal title

AlterNative

Volume

16

Issue

2

Publication date

01/06/2020

Pagination

99-107

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

04/05/2020

ISSN

1177-1801

eISSN

1174-1740

Language

en

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