SECTION ONE: AN ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR PROPERTY RELATIONS
“A second reason for the tendency to confuse or blend non-legal
and legal conceptions consists in the ambiguity and looseness of
our legal terminology. The word ‘property’ furnishes
a striking example. Both with lawyers and with laymen this term
has no definite or stable connotation. Sometimes it is employed
to indicate the physical object to which various legal rights, privileges,
etc., relate; then again--with far greater discrimination and accuracy--the
word is used to denote the legal interest (or aggregate of legal
relations) appertaining to such physical object. Frequently there
is a rapid and fallacious shift from the one meaning to the other.
At times, also, the term is used in such a ‘blended’
sense as to convey no definite meaning whatever.
There exists no good analysis of the concepts habitually used in
land-tenure studies, and certainly no detailed critique of their
applicability to cross-cultural study.
Thinking about land has been and remains largely ethnocentric.
Chapter One: Basic Elements for an Analytical Model for the Discovery
of Property Systems
SECTION TWO: THE RUNGUS PROPERTY SYSTEM: SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN A
COGNATIC SOCIETY AND ITS RITUAL SYMBOLIZATION
Chapter Two: The Rungus Dusun: Introduction
Where the results have been, as it often has, to curtail the rights
of the indigenous peoples, this has been because the colonial rulers
interpreted the law to their own advantage or applied legal concepts
of their own which were inapplicable to the situation....
Chapter Three: The Rungus Village
Chapter Four: The Rungus Longhouse
Another frequent source of error has been the presupposition that
native conceptions of ownership must be basically the same as those
of Europeans ... To add to the confusion, the same English word
has been used in different senses...
Chapter Five: The Rungus Domestic Family: Creation and Devolution
of Property Interests
SECTION THREE: THE DESIGN OF AN INQUIRY SYSTEM FOR DELINEATING
SOCIAL FORMS AND THEIR JURAL RELATIONS
I consider it to be the cardinal error of ethnographic and social
analysis: the grossly ethnocentric practice of raising folk systems
like “the law”, designed for social action in one’s
own society, to the status of an analytical system, and then trying
to organize the raw social data from other societies into its categories.
I have also tried to avoid the equivalent error of raising the folk
systems of the Romans or Trobriand Islanders to the level of such
a filing system for data which may not fit them. Such a doctrine
is probably a counsel of perfection, impossible of attainment. But
impossibility of attainment does not make it less desirable.
Ownership, therefore, can be defined neither by such words as `communism’
nor `individualism’, nor by reference to `joint-stock company’
system or `personal enterprise’, but by the concrete facts
and conditions of use. It is the sum of duties, privileges and mutualities
which bind the joint owners to the object and to each other.
Chapter Six: Methodological Issues in The Corporation
Chapter Seven: Methodological Problems with the Concept of Corporation,
Corporate Social Grouping, and Cognatic Descent Group
Chapter Eight: Observational Procedures for Social Isolates in the
Jural Realm: The Rungus Tree-focused Isolate as an Example
Chapter Nine: Some Theoretical Issues in the Analysis of Social
Systems: The Problem of Cognatic Social Organization
SECTION FOUR: THE EMERGENT NATURE OF PROPERTY SYSTEMS: CHOICE, OPPORTUNISM,
THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE
Chapter Ten: Emergent Structuralism
Chapter Eleven: The Kantu’ Dayak
SECTION FIVE: VARIOUS FORMS OF LAND TENURE IN BORNEO
“What is required is an adequate study [of Maori land tenure]
which will be based on native concepts and not on European juristic
Firth 1959[orig. 1929]:373
Chapter Twelve: History of Land Tenure Research
Chapter Thirteen: The Bulusu’ System of Land Tenure
Chapter Fourteen: The Iban Land Tenure System
Chapter Fifteen: The Bidayuh Dayak Land Tenure System
Chapter Sixteen: The Kayan System of Land Ownership
SECTION SIX: FRAGMENTED OWNERSHIP: FRAGMENTED THEORY AND COMMON
MISCONCEPTIONS IN THE CONCEPT OF COMMON PROPERTY
But it is just as wrong and just as uncomprehending to cram Tiv
cases into the categories of the European folk distinctions as it
would be to cram European cases into Tiv folk distinctions.
A lack of understanding of the conceptions and operations of property
systems in other societies is a frequent cause of conflict, injustice,
Chapter Seventeen: Hardin’s Myth of the Commons: The Tragedy
of Conceptual Confusions