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Resolving conflict for gutpela sindaun: an analysis and evaluation of traditional and modern methods of achieving peaceful intergroup relations among the Enga of Papua New Guinea

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posted on 2022-03-29, 01:43 authored by Douglas W. Young
This thesis presents the findings of a participatory action research project conducted in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. -- The advantages and disadvantages of participatory action research in Conflict Resolution are discussed, with special reference to their common basis in a contemporary philosophy of cognition and learning. The practical and ethical issues of cross-cultural training in Conflict Resolution are reviewed. The research process is described and particular research methods evaluated. Comparison with the methods and findings of earlier research is also presented. The issues are illustrated by means of case studies drawn from a period of field work (March 1992-April 1993, December 1993-February 1994, and August 1994). -- The research involved the analysis and evaluation of both traditional and modern means of conflict resolution used by Enga people or by other agencies within Enga Province during the period of research. The outcome of resolved conflict is gutpela sindaun ("good sitting") a Tok Pisin (Melanesian Pidgin) phrase that translates the Enga phrases auu pyoo katenge and auu pyoo petenge ("being or staying well," conceived from a masculine "standing" [katenge] or feminine "sitting" [petenge] perspective). These phrases are frequently used to describe peaceful intergroup relations. In considering how this state might be brought about, special attention is paid to the preferred methods of the people themselves (cross-cutting alliances, exchange relationships, and violent self-help), government (the Village Court System, economic development, and punitive measures), and churches and religious movements (conversion, forgiveness, and reconciliation). -- The special role of new religious movements as social movements for peace is highlighted. A comprehensive policy proposal is presented for further discussion by interested parties. -- This information, its interpretation, application, and implementation are presently part of an ongoing participatory action research process sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Wabag (Enga Province). This thesis therefore forms a summary of the data as of December 1994, which must in turn be evaluated by those whose practice it is intended to inform.



Includes bibliographical references and appendices

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD) , Macquarie University, School of History, Philosophy, and Politics, Centre for Conflict Resolution

Department, Centre or School

Centre for Conflict Resolution

Year of Award



Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Douglas W. Young 1995. Complete version suppressed for copyright reasons. However, on receipt of a Document Supply Request, placed with Macquarie University Library by another library, we will consider supplying a copy of this thesis. For more information on Macquarie University’s Document Supply, please contact




Papua New Guinea


xxii, [3], 413 leaves ill. (some col.)

Former Identifiers

mq:3119 1285413