Sharing Our Way: A Study of Caribbean Identity Using Liming As Culturally Affirming Research Methodology
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In this thesis, two complementary strands of research are developed. The first strand seeks to analyse how people of Caribbean descent living in Aotearoa New Zealand articulate their cultural identity. The second strand explores how this analysis can be conducted through a research process that is participatory and culturally affirming. As a result, a new qualitative and culturally affirming research methodology is developed using Liming and ole talk, Caribbean practices of sharing and engaging that are repeated across the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and social contexts of the region. Caribbean identity is analysed in this thesis using strategies and tools that are part of the Caribbean cultural system, instead of defaulting to Eurocentric practices. This allowed for researcher and participants to actively construct knowledge while drawing on their cultural strengths and communicative competencies. Liming methodology offers Caribbean researchers a tool for sensemaking that is coherent with the lived experiences within the region, that, at the same time, is adaptable to the diverse contexts and cultural practices of each island. Liming methodology is not about homogenising how we construct meaning, but about looking within to draw on the diverse modes of knowledge construction that can be found in each island when people come together to share or compartir. The thesis advances knowledge about how Caribbean people construct their identity in migrant contexts, especially in the framework of a small community in a non-traditional country of settlement. Results show that Caribbean ways of relating as humans were the most significant attribute in participants' representations of Caribbean culture, and the most salient area for identity negotiation, often concerning the perceived differences to New Zealand ways of engaging. Additionally, it was found that for most participants, migration required identity negotiation, which was achieved through diverse strategies, including resistance, empathy and adaptation. Othering practices and collective discourses of discrimination and privilege exerted considerable pressure on some participants, in relation to issues of race, ethnicity, and language. Finally, in-betweenness as a subject position for identity negotiation emerged as a site for creativity and resilience, but also of considerable conflict, traversed by discourses of race and place.