Walking the Space Between: Identity and Maori/Pakeha

Author: Webber, Melinda

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  • ISBN: 9781877398384
  • Author: Webber, Melinda
  • Publ Date: 2008-07-01
  • Edition:
  • Pages: 132
  • Imprint: NZ CNCL EDUCAT RES **
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 17339


What does being a New Zealander mean in contemporary times? And what does it mean to be a person of mixed Maori/Pakeha descent? How do people identify within this dual heritage? How can they establish a sense of belonging in both ethnic groups? New Zealand today is a hybrid nation, and becoming more so. At least one in ten of us now identifies with more than one ethnic group. This book aims to provide insights and understandings about the challenges, issues, and benefits associated with being of mixed descent. In general, Maori have been forced to become bicultural and adapt to the dominant Pakeha society, far more than Pakeha have had to become bicultural and adapt to Maori society. The author explores the concept of opening a space between to enable ongoing interaction in which new forms of cultural meaning can be created and the limitations of existing boundaries can be blurred. This idea is liberating, in that it provides a platform for people of Maori/Pakeha descent to straddle two different and often opposing cultures, but with a sense of location within their culture of origin. Thus a dual heritage becomes a positive force which enables people to walk in all worlds with heads held high.


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