Dr. Cato Berg (Associate Senior Scholar)

M.A., Ph.D., University of Bergen 

Cato Berg is a social anthropologist with extensive research experience from Solomon Islands. His M.A. thesis, based on fieldwork in Honiara during most of 1996, was a comprehensive study of urban ethnicities, kinship and marriage, and inter-cultural conflict lines over kastom, compensation and land matters in the urban periphery. His Dr. Polit. dissertation, based on further extensive fieldwork in rural areas during 2000-2001, was organized around an extended case study from Vella Lavella in Western Solomon Islands, bringing out the dynamics of power and leadership in the context of logging-related conflicts, on a combined background of long-term histories of land tenure and of the particular circumstances of the “Tension” period. Main conclusions point out the importance of customary land and the need to see power as a network that connects urban and rural organizations of hierarchy. Berg’s doctoral dissertation was examined by Professor Geoffrey White, (University of Hawai’i) and Professor Arve Sørum (University of Oslo).

During several appointments as a Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, Cato Berg has been involved in teaching, designing curriculums, examination and supervision in the department’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. He designed the course “Social Life in Global Perspective” (SANT 102) on key introductory concepts in social anthropology with emphasis on the discipline’s history, founding figures and key contemporary debates on personhood, new reproductive technologies and general kinship theory. Berg also organized the Department’s Bergen Social Anthropology Seminars (BSAS) during 2009 and 2010, with the responsibility of inviting and presenting widely esteemed international scholars.

With BPS Director Edvard Hviding and BPS Associate Graham Baines, Berg initiated and set up the Western Solomons Research Database.