A Typology of Pākehā “Whiteness” in Education

Stewart, GT
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Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

This article presents a typology to unpack the notion of ‘Whiteness’ as it operates in contemporary Māori-Pākehā relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand, within social domains such as education. This five-point typology of Whiteness aims to include the main positions commonly taken by Pākehā in their dealings with Māori in education. The names of these five positions depict, with dramatic effect, the central orientation of each one: Exterminator, Overlord, Vampire, Savior/Saviour, and Ally. An important disclaimer about this typology is that it relates to attitudes and ideas, not persons. Most people tend to hold individualised and changeable mixes of attitudes and ideas about complex social scenarios such as intercultural relationships, so such a typology cannot and is not intended to ‘classify’ people. It must be noted, however, that only the Ally position is politically robust, in terms of countering White Privilege and providing authentic support for Māori interests. Given the complicated issues involved, this typology may help Pākehā and Māori scholars in education and related fields to generate new insights about the range of attitudes held by Pākehā towards Māori things. Such a typology may even help encourage some Pākehā to commit to undertaking the work required to shift towards the kinds of understanding and attitudes characteristic of White Allies.

Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, DOI: 10.1080/10714413.2020.1773177
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