Between the margin and the text: He Kanohi ke to te Pakeha - Maori

Forsyth, Huhana
Moon, Paul
Gibbons, Andrew
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis applies the theory of Transculturalization to examine Pākehā-Māori within current New Zealand contexts, how they see themselves, where they position themselves in relation to society, and what meaning they make of events that have shaped them. The study undertaken uses Transculturalization Theory in order to understand individuals who choose to cross cultures, and focuses on European New Zealanders who engage with te ao Māori. The topic has connections to many disciplines and to a range of theoretical perspectives, but is predominated by the theory of Transculturalization which was developed by an American anthropologist, Irving Hallowell, in 1963 as a theory to study the phenomena of what he termed ‘Indianization’, that is, individuals who consciously chose to cross cultures and live amongst the Native American Indians.

This study conducted explores the experiences of five individuals who are moving between te ao Māori (Māori world view) and te ao Pākehā (European world view). The role of Pākehā-Māori in New Zealand in the nineteenth century is discussed in relation to the socio-historical context of the time, and Transculturalization Theory is used to analyse the narrative voice of the five individuals who could be named Pākehā-Māori within current contexts. The experiences of these individuals are examined through their stories of engagement with te ao Māori and the findings consider the participants’ self perceptions in terms of their social and cultural positioning.

The theory of Transculturalization is used to examine commonalities in the participants’ experiences, with relation to factors identified by Hallowell as significant in the process of transculturalization. In doing so, the study further develops the theory for application in current contexts.

Cross cultural experiences , Transculturalization theory
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